If you type in “Eid” into google image search, you’ll find a blend of eastern-themed cartoon caricatures and panoramic pictures of people in prayer; neither of which particularly speak to the Eid that I and so many others experience in the UK. The reality is that as British Muslims find themselves more and more rooted in Britain, Eid is fast becoming a truly British holiday and that should be a reason to celebrate.
This Ramadan has been the best yet for our award winning international humanitarian charity, Penny Appeal. We’ve reached more people online and offline and raised more funds, transforming more lives than ever before. At the same time, Ramadan has been a particularly difficult month with the snap election taking place, fatal attacks on our streets and the Grenfell Tower fire which tragically took so many lives.
Desperately needing to have our spirits lifted, Eid couldn’t have come at a better time and our Ramadan activities culminated with Penny Appeal being chosen as the headline partner for the Mayor of London’s annual open-air Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square. Celebrating the best of British Muslim lifestyle, culture, food and entertainment, the festival saw tens of thousands of Muslims celebrate Eid alongside people of all faiths and backgrounds you could imagine. Sadiq Khan, a proud British Muslim, gave a rousing speech praising the rich diversity of our country, where people from all walks of life have been welcomed and are proud to call Britain home.
I looked around Trafalgar Square at the moment and felt a deep sense of pride as I saw Muslims and non-Muslims of every description smiling and celebrating Eid together in the heart of London. Could there be a stronger image of what makes Britain great?
I was equally proud knowing that we have become an integral part of that story; donning my SingleMuslim.com t-shirt, having Penny Appeals iconic orange logo on screen, seeing British Muslim TV’s Nadia Hussein co-hosting and watching Yusuf Islam’s on stage talking about how profits of his new book will be supporting Penny Appeal’s OrphanKind programme – perhaps next year when I search for “Eid” on Google, these are the images that will tell the story of Eid we have come to know today.