Eid prayers bring Manitoba’s Muslim community together
Manitoba’s Muslim community gathered in both Winnipeg and Brandon on Friday to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
About 500 people met at the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba building in Brandon, also known as the “Dome Building,” with others celebrating in locations across Winnipeg.
The past month has been about observing faith and “worshipping our Lord,” said Roheemah Adeoti, an international student from Nigeria who attended the Eid celebration in Brandon.
The gathering offered a chance “just for us to appreciate Him giving us this opportunity and, you know, to celebrate Him more with friends and family to come together and know more about ourselves,” Adeoti said.
“It’s just unbelievable what a happy moment it is today for the Muslims all over the world,” said Faiz Ahmad, a former president of the Brandon Islamic Centre.
The Muslim community in the city has been growing over the last 10 to 15 years, said Ahmad.
“They’re all one happy family in here, all in one place,” he said. “Not going to five or 10 different mosques in the city, but they’re all congregated in one place. [It] shows a great, great example of unity in here.”
Aishat Zakariyah, who is also an international student from Nigeria, was pleased to see people who originally come from many different countries meet to celebrate Eid in Brandon.
“The diversity is just, like, a lot,” she said.
“We are trying to see how they celebrate the same thing we are celebrating in other countries. Like everybody, we are here — we came together in Canada.”
Winnipeg’s primary Eid celebration usually takes place at the RBC Convention Centre, but organizers were unable to book it this year.
Instead, the Manitoba Islamic Association found five alternative locations across Winnipeg — the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre, the Assiniboia Downs Event Centre, Dakota Community Centre, the University of Winnipeg RecPlex and Chalmers Community Centre.
The largest gathering was expected to be at Assiniboia Downs, which held prayer sessions at 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday.
Nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface neighbourhood, where Eid prayers were held in French.
Beydi Traoré, executive director of the St. Boniface University students’ association, said in the roughly 10 years he’s lived in Manitoba, that’s a first for him.
He always knew there were many francophone Muslims in Manitoba, but “we just never had the opportunity to bring those people together,” he said.
“This was a great opportunity to show that.”
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