Muslim festival dispels myths and celebrates community

Malden was host to the first ever New England Muslim festival on Sunday, September 25. Official estimates report that close to 3,000 people attended the vibrant family event from noon – 6 p.m. A dazzling array of hijabs wove strands of color throughout the crowd on Malden City Hall Plaza. The stage featured hip hop artists, comedians, traditional music, folk dances, Chinese martial arts, speeches and the Muslim call to prayer. A traditional souk (marketplace) boasted a wide array of arts, henna, Arabic calligraphy, local information and international foods. There was even a booth where non-Muslims could try on a hijab (Muslim headcovering). According to the organizers, the vision of the Muslim Festival was to celebrate the diversity within the American Muslim community and to create a greater awareness of their rich cultural heritage. “In the midst of the election season, terrorist attacks in Europe and instability in the Middle East,” says festival director Mohammad Shadid, “the Muslims in the United States and in particular in New England believe that their culture and image have […]