Broward Schools Add Eid-Al Fitr to the Calendar

Graphic+by+Mariana+Riano

Graphic by Mariana Riano

Kimani Dodd, Opinions Editor

   In late December, the Broward School Board voted 7-1 to include Eid-Al Fatr in the 2022-2023 school calendar. Eid-Al Fatr is on April 23th and it will give students the day off. This particular holiday is meant to honor the end of Ramadan’s fasting month and is a chance to spend quality time with family and friends. One of the main traditions is to donate to charities. On the last days of Ramadan, the house of each family is required to make a charitable donation called Zakat Al Fitr or Fitra to help the less fortunate. 

   Some Muslims also volunteer at soup kitchens to provide food to those in need. To prepare for this holiday, Muslims will spend money on new gifts and clothes in the weeks leading up. Then, on Eid-Al Fatr, Muslims gather at mosques to pray and enjoy a lavish feast, where they exchange gifts. Some dishes/desserts  they eat are sheer khurma, Doro wat, Manti, Cambaabur, Lokum, spice cookies and beef rendang. 

   Eid-Al Fatr isn’t a public holiday, so Muslims along with non-Muslims have been fighting for years for schools to recognize and honor this holiday. While other districts such as New York City, Detroit, and Montgomery County have begun recognizing this holiday over the years, Broward County never did. 

   Now that it’s finally approved, it feels like a major step in the right direction. Pembroke Pines Charter High School’s Muslim Student Association vice president Rania Imran says “I’m really proud of how far the Muslim community has succeeded and [that Eid-Al Fitr is] finally being recognized as a holiday. Muslims are just as important as any other religion.”

   Additionally,  MSA historian Dheyaan Shah states “I’m happy that Broward Schools is adding Eid-Al Fitr to school calendars. Most years I would still have to go to school and miss spending time with my family or I would take the day off but worry about the work I would miss. I think it’s good that Eid is being recognized in the county because it allows Muslim students to fully enjoy the holiday.”

   Muslim Federation of South Florida estimates that there are over 75,000 Muslims in Broward County, including 25,000 Muslim students. This is such a large population of Muslims, and it begs the question: why are only particular holidays celebrated and honored? 

   Following the decision to add Eid-Al Fitr to the school calendar, it’s a relief to know that Muslims students in Broward are finally getting the respect they deserve. Hopefully, this will be the first of many steps for the Muslim community.