Eid al-Fitr added to the Mehlville School District calendar for the 2022-2023 school year

Eid al-Fitr added to the Mehlville School District calendar for the 2022-2023 school year
Posted on 04/12/2022
Eid added to school calendarEid al-Fitr was added as a holiday in the 2022-2023 Mehlville School District calendar following the recommendation of the district’s Calendar Committee and the approval of the Mehlville Board of Education. Eid is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslim families to mark the end of Ramadan, a month-long period of dawn-to-sunset fasting.

“In the past, Muslim students had to choose between skipping school and staying home to celebrate Eid with their families,” said Imam Eldin Susa from the St. Louis Islamic Center. “Some kids would miss the celebration with their family and go to school if there was a test or something they didn’t want to miss.” 

Many families within Mehlville School District practice Islam. Eid is one of the two most important holidays for those families. Susa equates the importance of Eid for Muslim families to the importance of Christmas for Christians.

“On the morning of Eid, we start with a day of prayer in the mosque,” said Susa. “It is the day that mosque is most full. Then we gather together with our family and friends and share gifts.”

The Calendar Committee, which includes both district staff and parents, invited Imam Susa to speak with them about the importance of a school holiday on Eid for our Muslim students. Imam Susa invited some of his families from the district to speak with the committee.

“It’s huge for our community and shows you that you are appreciated for someone to recognize the cultural diversity of our district,” said Alija Dzekic. One of Dzekic’s daughters graduated from Oakville High School, and his other daughter attends Bernard Middle School. “It was important to allow students to practice their faith without having to miss important tests or assignments.” 

Mehlville School District is the first school district in St. Louis County to add Eid to the school calendar.

“This is more than just recognizing someone’s faith, it’s recognizing their identity,” said Dzekic. 

Mehlville School District students will not have school on April 21, 2023, in observance of Eid.

What is Ramadan
Ramadan, one of the holiest months for Muslims, is April 2 to May 2 this year. The dates vary from year to year based on the crescent moon. It is observed through daytime fasting (no food or water), introspection and prayer. During this time, it is not uncommon for Muslim families to be up past midnight for prayers and then get up at 3:30-4:30 a.m. to eat before dawn.

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