State Senator Cordell Cleare Hosts 3rd Annual Eid Presser Celebration In Harlem

April 17, 2024

By Nayaba Odesanya

On Saturday, April 13th, 2024, New York State Senator Cordell Cleare hosted her 3rd Annual Eid ul-Fitr in Harlem.

Her co-sponsor partners this year were; Assemblywoman Inez E. Dickens, Assemblyman Charles D. Fall, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, and City Councilmember Yusef Salaam. 

Over a dozen mosques in the 30th District participated in this  Eid u l-Fitr event marking the completion of Ramadan. In the spirit of One Harlem, community leaders, organizations, restaurants, and other businesses all came together to commemorate the completion of this year’s one month of fasting, with prayer, and a feast provided to the people from the neighborhood and beyond, at the Children’s Aid Dunlevy Milbank Center.

Elected officials, community members and leaders, business people, educators, activists, and entertainers came together in a great show of unity.

Families who attended the event included those of slain George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tyre Nichols, and Ajike Owens.

From late afternoon to early evening hundreds of Muslims, and people of other faiths, came together with families and children to honor, commune and unite. There was community praise and prayer.

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Observed were the Qur’anic Recitation, Dhikr Recitation, and Magrib Prayer (late evening prayer).

From vegetarian soup to big shanks of lamb, community members served their neighbors. Dozens of pans of food were purchased from local restaurants, the Foodbank, and the Muslim Girls in Training (MGT) from Muhammad Mosque 7 donated and prepared pans of pans of delicious dishes.

There was so much food that attendees were encouraged to take several to-go containers home.

Street Corner Resources opened the proceedings with African drumming, live jazz by Dr. John “Satchmo” Mannan serenaded the gathering, the Junior F.O.I (Fruit of Islam) Drill Team and the MGT Vanguard Drill Team delivered tight presentations, Miss Undastood performed some uplifting rap, followed by a fashion show by Fatimah Obsessions.

This was a tremendous community affair, with faith, food, family, music, and a One Harlem foundation.

Hundreds of ‘new’ New Yorkers (migrants and asylum-seekers) have made Harlem home as they find community amongst the Central and West African population. As the migrant crisis continues, State Senator Cleare continues to demand that money from the budget be allocated to NYC in general, but her district in particular to assist the newest New Yorkers and support the community. This Eid celebration served as a reminder that a united community is a strong one, and the respect and friendship shown by the Village of Harlem emphasized what great achievements can come from working side-by-side.

Senator Cordell Cleare said, “We always look forward to celebrating Eid al-Fitr – the end of Ramadan with our Muslim brothers and sisters. I have observed this celebration for over 20 years, but this is my 3rd Annual Celebration as State Senator for the 30th District in Harlem. This year was particularly exciting, the opportunity to break bread with our neighbors is always sacred, and to be cherished no matter what faith they belong to, on Saturday we enjoyed the company of our newest New Yorkers – our Muslim family from Central and West Africa. As always everyone was invited to come and enjoy the delicious food, and great entertainment. It was yet another marvelous One Harlem family and community event.”

Assemblywoman Inez Dickens said, “This Eid celebration is a wonderful opportunity for our community to gather as One Harlem to celebrate together at the end of Ramadan. I am happy to co-sponsor this great event with my partners in government Senator Cleare, Councilman Salaam, Assemblyman Fall, and Manhattan Borough President Levine. The Harlem community has come out once again to honor each other’s culture and faith in this magnificent way. We give thanks to the masjids, restaurants, and local organizations who have worked so tirelessly to put this event together.” 

City Councilmember Yusef Salaam said, “As we mark this joyous occasion, we celebrate the unity and strength found in our diverse community. I am thrilled to co-host this celebration alongside my sister, Senator Cordell Cleare, and my brother, Assembly Member Charles Fall. This event not only commemorates the significance of Eid for our Muslim brothers and sisters, but also underscores the spirit of collaboration and harmony among Muslims here in Harlem.” 

Assemblyman Charles Fall said,“As we gather for the 3rd annual Eid celebration, I am filled with immense pride to partner with Senator Cleare and Councilman Salaam. Ramadan, to me, is a time of deep reflection and renewal, giving a profound opportunity to deepen our faith, compassion, and connection to the community. It’s an honor to celebrate its culmination with Eid, sharing this moment of joy and gratitude with all.” 

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, “Eid Mubarak to Muslims in the 30th District and across New York! This annual celebration is even more special as we welcome Harlem’s newest Muslim migrants and give them a first American Eid to remember.”

Brother Arthur Muhammad, Student Minister of Mosque number 7 said; “I applaud Senator Cleare for continuing the work of Brother Bill Perkins with her commitment to ensuring that every facet of Harlem’s black community knows that her office is there for them.

When I reflect upon the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the early struggle for acceptance of Islam to be established in New York in the Black community; to now see in 2024 how much it is acknowledged and respected, is very gratifying for our Muslim community. This Eid took on a special meaning for us in Mosque 7, as we were committed to feeding our people, which included the new arrivals, giving them food before we fed ourselves. This Eid event is an extension of the community paying respect to how we celebrate the end of a month of fasting, and also showing how we embrace our new Muslim neighbors from West Africa.”

Photo credit: 1-3) Senator Cleare.

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