As Ramadan ended this weekend, Muslims around the world are now celebrating the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam. This is an opportunity to enjoy special dishes while getting together with family and friends.
The holiday was only recognized by schools in Broward County last year. The school board voted to make a day off for the entire district for the 2023 school year. The vote came after local student leaders and local group Emgage Action USA came together to make it happen. .
According to Emgage USA, this is a big step forward for the Muslim community in South Florida.
“Our goal now is to help other counties by doing the same,” said Ancel Pratt, executive director of Emerge USA in Florida.
According to Emgage USA, more than 17,721 Muslims under the age of 18 live in Broward County. Nearly 89% of Broward’s Muslim, Arab-American and South Asian residents are keeping their children home during this Muslim holiday.
Those numbers were enough to convince the Broward County School Board to make April 21, 2023 a district-wide holiday. Schools will be closed for the day.
In addition to advocacy, Emerge works on a number of community outreach events, from voter registration to food distribution for those in need in the Muslim community.
At this point, Miami Dade Public Schools do not recognize Eid al-Fitr as a school holiday. Miami Dade Public School released a statement, saying in part:
“This district recognizes the importance of Eid al-Fitr and is currently making accommodations for students and employees celebrating the holiday since the last day of Ramadan falls on a test date due to public interest. M-DCPS asks the Florida Department of Education to consider this when planning the testing schedule for the upcoming school year.”