First New England Muslim Festival

The first New England Muslim Festival was held on Sunday September 25th at the City Hall Plaza in Malden and took place from 11:30 a.m to 6:00 p.m. The event was free to the public in which thousands of people joined to spread awareness of Muslim Culture.

The evening was filled with traditional folk dance, rap music, face painting as well as temporary body art called Henna. Traditional art, colorful clothing, skin care products and food was sold at the event as well. There was an area designated to the whole community as well as for children with bouncy houses and traditional games at the communities leisure.

Before the evening began the Muslim community centered around the mosque and worshiped in which they kneeled and prayed to Allah. After, they settled around the centered stage in which the program began. Mayor of Malden, Gary Christianson, began the event by giving a speech in Arabic and quoted former president Jimmy Carter by describing our diverse world and community as “a mosaic”.

Congresswoman, Katherine Clark, then followed by stating how thrilled she was to the attend and stand together with the Muslim community during a period of “divisive political rhetoric which is heard from candidates”. She then followed by saying how “the Muslim culture enriches our neighborhoods, our communities and the commonwealth in the New England region”.

Up next was Chemist and Festival Director Mohammed Shadid. As he delved deeper into his speech he stated that “ Islam doesn’t preach violence” but “encourages education and civilization”. The enormity of negative media about Islam has reached its peak throughout the last couple of months due to the the incidents in New York and New Jersey but Mohammed Shadid stated that “Islam is not what is seen on the media”.

The whole evening was a day to celebrate in which the community came together and learned about true Muslim American culture and tradition’s.

Muslim musician performing — at Malden City Hall. Photo by Abhishek Rana
Muslim musician performing — at Malden City Hall. Photo by Abhishek Rana

To check out the photos from the festival, view them here.

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