By Asalah Hassan
Last month on Aug. 21 through Aug. 23, a holiday called Eid al-Adha, was celebrated by Muslim families all across the world who came together to pray, feast, exchange gifts and celebrate with loved ones.
Although OUSD didn’t give authorization for Eid to become an official holiday, Muslim students continue to celebrate this holiday in observance of their religion.
Ayah Alwadia, a Muslim student who is a freshman at Oakland High, said, “Whenever I have Eid on school days, I have to be absent from school which would be shown on my report card, and I do not like how that turns out.”
In the United States, Eid is not a federal public holiday. However, many Islamic businesses and organizations usually alter their business hours during this event. But it is a holiday for some school districts, including public schools in New York City.
As we all know, there are many holidays celebrated across the United States. Holidays that give people time off of work and school so that they can celebrate with family and friends. But although, those holidays are widely known, there is a large population of Muslim people in the U.S. who celebrate two holidays that are not recognized in calendars marking these special days.
Many members of the Oakland High community feel that OUSD should observe Muslim holidays.
“Of course [students] should [take the day off],” said principal Matin Abdel-qawi. “Muslims only have two holidays a year; Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. These are very important days in our religion and culture and just like Christians have Christmas off and other days celebrated, the Muslims should have their day off so we could spend the day with our family and enjoy the day. It’s an important day for us.”
By celebrating a certain holiday, people usually give praise to an event that happened in the past, and share its historical realities in moments with their families. For Muslims, being able to express their culture in the U.S. brings even more happiness and the recreation of praise in their history.
Sophomore Ahmed Mohsan said, “If Muslims have a day off, students will not be worried about what they’re going to miss in school, and if [non-Muslim] Americans try to celebrate it with us, I’m sure they will like it!”