Largest open air Eid event organised in Belfast for the first time
Around 1000 people were seen attending the first-ever open air Eid event in Belfast on Saturday
‘The largest open air Eid event’ was organized for the first time ever in Northern Ireland this year. Attended by thousands at the Davitts GAA club pitches, the day was marked by many families and youngsters coming together to celebrate the auspicious day.
Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill, who joined the Northern Irish Islamic Community in Belfast wearing a hijab said that the country’s diversity should be defined by the myriad colours of a rainbow instead of the separation between orange and green.
O’Neill, who is set to become the next Stormont first minister once the ongoing ‘powersharing impasse is resolved’, also joined the prayers held on Saturday morning.
She later gave a speech in front of the huge crowd that had gathered at the vebue, and said, “I’m a champion of inclusion and I am here to help make this place which we all belong together a home richer in its diversity.”
She appreciated the contributions made by the Islamic community to Northern Ireland and described them as “generous and compassionate”.
She went on to add, “My colleagues have been very vocal in calling out those responsible for the attacks on the Belfast Muslim community and those outrageous acts of criminality.”
“So let me say very clearly here to you all today, we will always stand beside you.”
“In our shared humanity, we live in each other’s shadow, and I want you all to know that you are valued.”
“I’m working to build a society, not of orange and green, but of a whole rainbow of cultures, multiculturalism, which reflects who we are and where we stand today.”
“It’s our responsibility as political leaders to ensure that we learn from the past, that we continue to make all of our efforts to learn from each other, to build peace, and ensure that we inspire a new generation to value this precious gift that we have, not least here on our own front door,” she affirmed.
Muhammad Atif from the Belfast Multicultural Association also hailed the efforts of the local community of West Belfast and the GAA for their hard work in making the event a success.
He said, “They have allowed us to be here in thousands and everybody has been very, very cooperative.”
“It is one of the biggest events ever we’ve managed to do outside in the open.”
“Let’s not forget this is for the community and everything we do is for the community,” he concluded.