Ashura Observerances at Byblos Restaurant in Dearborn

Dearborn–January 4–A young organization, Islam Universal, arranged a series of events to commemorate Ashura at Byblos Restaurant in Dearborn this past weekend.

“This week… Wednesday is the last day,” explained Hajja Khalida Beydoun of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge. 

“There will be hris, a plate that we make if someone passes away–we will be buying the ingredients for it and passing it out for anyone who comes to the 10th day at Byblos–coming to dinner.”

The program at Byblos started on the first day of Muharram, Monday December 29th, and took place from 7pm til 9:30pm.  It was arranged mainly by Islam Universal, a local university student-run organization run primarily by its president Rashid Baydoun and its vice president Houda Fawaz.  With help from many others, they arranged the nightly speeches at Byblos, arranged for Shaykh Jehad Ismail to come from Australia, and invited the community to come. 

This year was much bigger than last year, with about three times as many attendees.  Ms. Beydoun explained that Byblos holds up to 600 people.  She said that there were as many as 900 people who attended, and they were forced to move the event to the IIK mosque.

Islam Universal arranged the Ashura remembrances in concert with members of the Young Ladies’ Guidance class (which is taught by Hajja Khalida Beydoun and Imam Abdul Latif Berry of the IIK).

There are parallel programs in all of the Shi’a mosques to commemorate Ashura, but their focus is largely the Arabic-speaking community, whereas the Byblos evenings are aimed more at the younger English-speaking crowd and also those a little bit older but who were raised here, speaking English in school and in their professional lives.

This Friday at Byblos there will be a play intended to teach about Ashura.  The event Friday will be at 6:30pm in Dearborn at Byblos.  Byblos is on Chase road, in between Warren and Tireman.


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