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First Muslim holiday observed

New York Teacher

Jonathan Fickies
Chancellor Carmen Fariña, elected officials and students on Sept. 24 celebrated the New York City public school system’s first observance of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha at an event at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Announced as a new official school holiday in March 2015 by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fariña, Eid-al-Adha is one of two Muslim holidays that schools will now observe. The Coalition for Muslim School Holidays — made up of faith-based, civil rights, and community and labor groups, including the UFT — campaigned for nine years for the two holidays to be observed. An estimated 10 percent of the city’s public school students are Muslim. “Now, my friends at school will know more about my holidays, and I will not feel sad that I can’t celebrate, like they do on Christmas and Yom Kippur,” said Amani Aboelnour, a Muslim student in the 4th grade at PS 39 on Staten Island. “I will not feel like a stranger, and I will feel I am part of New York City.”

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