A new community cohesion initiative has been created by a local Blackburn resident to share the joys of Eid.
#ItsOurEidToo was the idea of 24 year-old Aisha Seedat, and she worked with charity One Voice Blackburn to make it happen.
Aisha Seedat, a former Pleckgate High School student, works in creative marketing and is a member of One Voice Blackburn, having been a part of the charity since the age of 15.
#ItsOurEidToo celebrates the first Eid of the Islamic calendar with members of the Blackburn with Darwen community, likely to take place on either Friday 21st or Saturday 22nd April.
The campaign encouraged members of the non-Muslim community to wish an Eid Mubarak to the local residents by proclaiming #ItsOurEidToo, to send a very strong message on community cohesion in the town.
Eid ul Fitr follows the Holy Month of Ramadan, where Muslims forgo food and water between sunrise and sunset.
Participants took part in a photoshoot where they held a gift-wrapped present bearing the name of the brand #ItsOurEidToo. they provided a message to residents of Blackburn with Darwen on the celebration of Eid.
Phil Boulding from Secret Santa works closely with One Voice on a range of community cohesion projects. “I’m really pleased to participate in the EID celebrations, just like our Muslim friends do with Christmas. Another example that there is more that connects us than separates us.”
Vicky Shepherd, Chief Executive of Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, works with people from across the community. “Age UK Blackburn with Darwen is pleased to be involved with and support the #ItsOurEidToo project. We know that Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr are very important times for our Muslim colleagues and service users and for the wider community and it is important to recognise and support this. Personally, I find it lovely to hear all about the family celebrations that happen for Eid and what a difference this makes to people.”
Denise Park, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Celebrating our differences is really important. We have really diverse communities here so it’s great to have the opportunity to join in with many different festivals and events.
“Inside the Council we are fully committed to represent the communities we serve and it’s a great place to work if you want to make a difference to people’s lives.”
Aisha Seedat has been pleased with the response to her idea. “Lots of my non-Muslim friends have always wanted to get involved with the Eid festivities. And I personally love the vibe at Christmas time. Let’s face it we sometimes need any excuse for a celebration. It’s been really touching that so many influential people in the town have got involved. I hope we can make it even bigger and better next year.”
#ItsOurEidToo is a community cohesion project run by charity One Voice Blackburn, which aspires to create cohesive, aspirational and confident communities in Blackburn with Darwen. The charity also runs I’m a Muslim and I Love the Festive Period, and I am Not A Muslim and I Will Fast for One Day.