Marking not only Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of the Ramadan fasting period, but the return of students to campus following the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 400 guests, friends, families and supporters of Pasadena’s New Horizon School joined together Monday for a campus-wide celebration filled with food and family.
“It’s the first time in two years that we’ve been able to come together as a community and celebrate our very special holiday, which is the breaking of the fast after 30 days of Ramadan,” said Amira Al-Sarraf, New Horizon head of school.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
“And so, with COVID of course, we were very careful not to have large gatherings, but with things as they are today,” she continued, “we felt we were safe enough to bring everyone back together and have a wonderful day to celebrate.”
“Community” was the watchword of the day, as Al-Sarraf added, “Our fast is between us and God, but the support that we give each other, the strength we give each other’s community is really also part of what Ramadan is all about. This event outdoors is really the first chance for people to come together and be happy, and give activities to the children, and make this their special holiday.”
The celebration attracted local, state, and national leaders as Mayor Victor Gordo, Councilmember John Kennedy, Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, Interim Police Chief Jason Clawson, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-27), and a representative of State Senator Anthony Portantino all visited the campus for the special morning event.
“Pasadena is ‘the center of the universe’,” said Mayor Gordo “because of its people. All of you here today have worked so hard together, with all of our leadership, to contribute to the diversity of this city and to the faith community in this city, and to raising young people in our city that will be responsible and contributing members of our community.”
Congresswoman Chu, a frequent visitor to the Orange Grove campus, congratulated the school and spoke of her work in eliminating what she termed the “hateful” Muslim travel ban put in place during the Trump Administration.
Councilmember John Kennedy and the office of State Senator Portantino both presented official commemorations from their offices to the school.
The event featured Arabic food, Mediterranean food, Muslim food, and amusement park-style children’s rides and carnival games, face painting, balloon animals, hennas, inflatables and jumpers.
The school also shared its community peace gardenwith the entire community.