In the face of life-changing events that have weighed down the world, such as the pandemic and wars, Palo Alto's Eid Festival seeks to serve as a reminder that happiness and love can be attainable if people make the effort to join together.
The annual event commemorates the Muslim celebration of spreading happiness and peace and is open to all. This year's festival will be held on Sunday, May 22, from 5-7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. It includes a boxed complimentary Pakistani meal, desserts from around the world, a cultural experience with ethnic dresses, henna tattoos, spiritual singing, a photo booth and more. There will also be an interfaith panel where speakers will discuss various religious holidays.
The event is sponsored by American Muslim Voice Foundation with support from a mini grant from Santa Clara County's Division of Equity and Social Justice Community Engagement and the city of Palo Alto's Know Your Neighbors Grant Program. The festival's hosts are First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto and Evergreen Park resident Samina Sundas.
In keeping with COVID-19 safety protocols, Sundas said that the boxed gourmet Pakistani dinner will be provided upon departure from the festival. Vegetarian options are available. Appetizers will be served outdoors at 5 p.m. Masks are required indoors at all times.
"All faiths encourage their followers to love their neighbors. To love our neighbors, we must know our neighbors," Sundas said. She spearheaded the American Muslim Voice Foundation and the local movement to bring all faiths and peoples together through interactions after her first-hand experiences with anger and prejudice against her religion following 9/11.
To register for the Eid festival, visit tinyurl.com/394jwv6c.