Eid celebration Saturday at Elgin library

Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin will host on Saturday its first cultural event focusing on the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr.

"We had a patron approach and suggest if we can do something like this," said Sadia Ahmed, public programs coordinator for the library. "Elgin is a very diverse community and we've had events that reflect our diverse community. That's why we need to continue with that. We need to represent all cultures."

"Celebrate Eid" takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the main library, 270 N. Grove Ave. It will include interactive stories, crafts, music, henna, food and cultural sharing about Eid al-Fitr, or Feast of the Fast-Breaking, which on Tuesday marked the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Speaker Kiran Ansari will give a brief presentation on the significance and celebration of Eid.

The festival Saturday is part of the Global Series of cultural events launched by the library this year, which has included programs on Colombia and Germany, a Jewish Film Festival and an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration. A cultural program on Colombia is scheduled July 27 and other yet-to-be-scheduled events will celebrate Poland, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Such events represent an effort to be inclusive of all residents, which is particularly important in these divided times, library spokeswoman Denise Raleigh said.

"It offers the opportunity to meet people of different cultures in person," she said. "Knowing what people look like, knowing their name, knowing how they talk and laugh ... that means so much. Our community is so rich and diverse, and what an opportunity we have at the library to bring people together to know that."

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