Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan at the Maple Ridge Library, and were joined by a host of dignitaries and guests.
The Islamic Society of Ridge Meadows and the Maple Ridge Library put on their annual Eid Festival on Sept. 15.
The event was opened by Maple Ridge librarian Jo-Ann Sleiman, who welcomed the guests on behalf of the library, saying she appreciated the collaboration with the society and was glad of their support in putting together the event.
On behalf of the District of Maple Ridge, Councillor Corisa Bell welcomed all the guests.
In addition, Councillors Cheryl Ashlie, Al Hogarth, and Mike Morden were in attendance, later joined by Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin.
Mayor Deb Walters of Pitt Meadows said she was very happy to be representing her community at the event. Walters stressed the need for more exchanges to help learn about each other's cultures and beliefs.
On behalf of the Islamic Society, Shakeel Gaya thanked the guests for being present and also thanked Walters and appreciated her being the first mayor from Pitt Meadows to grace the occasion with her presence.
He also acknowledged the partnership of the Islamic society and the library and commended the team at the Maple Ridge Library as pioneers.
"They are the first library to celebrate Eid Festival on an annual basis," Gaya said. He mentioned that larger communities are taking heed and learning from what the team at the Maple Ridge Library has achieved, adding that the Eid Festival was celebrated for the first time at the North Delta Library.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Mufti Aasim Rashid who talked about fasting for the Muslims as commanded by God in the Quran.
The celebration included food prepared by the Muslim community. The cuisine was from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, India, Morocco, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, and Somalia.
The Islamic society is planning to hold its fifth Eid Festival in 2013.