Mayor of London Sadiq Khan appeals to Londoners from all communities to come together at this year’s Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square (Sunday 2nd July), in solidarity with those affected by the attack in Finsbury Park and the fire at Grenfell Tower….reports Asian Lite News
Mayor Khan has assured London’s Muslim community that this year’s celebrations will be safe and one of the best yet, with thousands of Londoners and visitors to the capital expected to head to the square to enjoy the free festival.
The event will be an opportunity for people from all backgrounds, faiths and communities to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan – showing the world that London is open and united, and paying tribute to the victims of the Finsbury Park attack as well as the families affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower, many of whom were Muslim.
There will be an array of entertainment and attractions for the whole family to enjoy, including live music and performance, arts and crafts, exhibitions, calligraphy, henna, face painting and more. Visitors can also sample food from around the world, enjoy musical performances and try a variety of special activities. The Mayor’s team is working closely with the Met police to ensure that the Eid event is safe for everyone to enjoy.
During Ramadan the Mayor visited community events and interfaith Iftars across the capital. Earlier this week, he broke fast at Finsbury Park Mosque’s Iftar, joining the community affected by the dreadful attack in the early hours of Monday morning.
“Eid Mubarak to Muslims here in London and around the world,” said Mayor Khan. “We’ve been through an extremely difficult time in the capital – since Ramadan began – from the cowardly London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks, to the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. As a city, we’re still recovering from these events, but I know Londoners will come through both strong and united.
“In these difficult times, it’s been truly inspiring to see how communities have come together in solidarity. Throughout Ramadan, I’ve joined Londoners from all faiths and backgrounds to break my fast at Iftars across our city. For me, this is what the holy month is all about – sharing time with others and showing empathy for one another.
“After the long, long fasts of Ramadan, Eid is a time to come together with friends, family and loved ones. Next Sunday, thousands of Londoners will join the capital’s Muslim community at the Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square.
“This huge family celebration will be an opportunity for people from all backgrounds, faiths and communities to celebrate – showing the world that London is open and united. I look forward to seeing you there. From my family to yours, Eid Mubarak!”
Highlights at this year’s Eid Festival include Rai musician Cheb Nacim and British Sudanese artist Rasha from the Shubbak festival, alongside children’s writer Hajera Memon promting her childrens’ book, Hats of Faith. Omar Sammur will bring beatboxing to the stage, and visitors will also enjoy breakdancing from Hakim.
A ‘bazaar’ style market area with stalls from SMEs and grassroots organisations. An assortment of clothing, jewellery, Islamic arts and crafts and books will be on offer.
Popular artist Sadiqqa Jumma will be showcasing her Islamic artwork which reflects London communities, promoting love, peace and unity. Visitors will have the opportunity to ‘make their mark’ and contribute towards the final artwork.
A global food festival will also offer a wide selection of fine halal fare from around the world including Egyptian, Indian, Turkish, Indonesian, Moroccan, Malaysian and more.
There will be a huge mix of traditional and contemporary performances throughout the day including Nasheed artist Saif Adam Acts from the Shubbak festival taking to the stage include Egyptian and Levantine band Oxford Maqam, Afro-Egyptian group Hawidro, and virtuoso Syrian Kanun player Maya Youssef. A female Balinese theatre group will also perform, alongside special guest acts.
Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to see new exhibition ‘I AM’ in St Martin in the Fields, featuring 31 female Middle Eastern artists from 12 countries. ‘I AM’ celebrates the role of Middle Eastern women and the contribution they make to peace and unity.
Other highlights at the event will include The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, where visitors can test their skills in Arabic art and geometry, and children will be entertained by face-painting, henna tattoos and story-telling from writer Hajera Memon, who created the world’s first pop-up and play book telling a story from the Holy Quran. The Hats of Faith book will showcase the diversity of different faiths reflecting the diversity of London.
The Eid Festival is presented by the Mayor of London. Lebara Mobile is this year’s presenting partner, and Penny Appeal is this year’s charity partner.
Event: Eid Festival
Location: Trafalgar Square
Date: Sunday 2nd July 2017