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Thousands Of Muslims Across Central Florida Gather To Celebrate The End Of Ramadan

Eid marks the end of Ramadan. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
Eid marks the end of Ramadan. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of Muslims gathered yesterday, at celebrations across Central Florida marking the end of Ramadan.

Eid al-Fitr is the three-day holiday marking the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer addressed thousands at the Orange County Convention Center. Thousands more gathered in Sanford. Dr. Shakil Ahmed of the American Muslim Community Center shared what the holiday means to those celebrating.

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“Today is the beginning of the new lunar month," Ahmed said. "That’s the end of Ramadan that we are celebrating today, called Eid...Eid Al-Fitr. At the beginning of a new month, this is how we celebrate the past month that we spent in fasting, and praying, and developing more god consciousness.”

Ahmed said inviting the outside community to join in helps spread understanding about the Islamic faith. There was heightened security after recent mosque shootings in New Zealand, although Ahmed said he felt compassion from the Orlando community.

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"We feel that love," Ahmed said. "“We had quite a few non-Muslims who attended the prayer session. They came and greeted us. That was very special. And that has been the case always. With all the good friendships that we have developed over the years with the local community.”

Ahmed feels it is necessary for everyone to work together in order to solve conflicts in Central Florida.