Thousands of Triangle Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- About 8500 Muslims-representing 75 different nationalities-from all over the Triangle gathered at the fairgrounds on Tuesday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

"Having a melting pot so to speak but with the commonality of one faith," said Mohamed ElGamal, Islamic Association of Raleigh.

"It's a celebration of really the human spirit and sacrifice. This is a month of giving, a month of charity, a month of fasting," said Mohamed AbuTaleb, who presided over prayer service.

Eid is the end of Ramadan. For a month, Muslims fast and give back to their community. The day begins with a prayer service as families continue their traditions together.

"Something I remember is the breaking of the fast. And so all of the sudden that glass of water or the simplest morsel of food looks like a feast. Because you've felt the hunger that many people here and across the world feel," AbuTaleb said.

And that feeling is why this community continues to give back - vowing to help their neighbors.

"Look at how much you accomplished and why stop this month? Let's keep this going. Keeping up that spirit making a difference, thinking about our neighbors, thinking about our fellow Americans, thinking about the world," AbuTaleb said.

The prayer service is just the beginning. Many families will spend the day together and also donate money during the service that will help buy meals for people in need.
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