My name is Imen and I am a 3rd grader in ps33. I would like to send this letter to the mayor.
Dear Mayor De Blasio:
My dad took me to the forum at the Islamic Center at New York University with you and some others running for mayor. I wanted to ask if we could close schools for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Guess what? Another girl asked my question! I was so happy to see that everyone on the stage raised their hand for Eid! You did also. I was so excited!
Now you are my mayor. I want to know when will you keep your promise and close schools for my holidays? I am in the gifted and talented program at ps33. The expectations are high! It’s important to me because I don’t want to miss out on class and get behind on my work. I love learning about fractions, but who wants to do more homework?
I’d also like to celebrate Eid with my family at home because my holiday is special to me. I get to be in a special prayer that only happens on Eid. I also get to open presents, have fun with my brother and sister and eat the most delicious food with my community and friends!
Would you go to school on your holiday or stay home and celebrate? It’s not fair that I have to choose.
Thank you very much for listening to me. If you want to talk more let me know.
My name is Manal Zawam. I am a proud mother of 6 daughters, all are raised in public schools.
My name is Manal Zawam. My daughters’ friends all call me Mama Zawam. I am a proud mother of 6 daughters, all are raised in public schools. Five of them graduated from Midwood High School, and one of them, Zainab, is still a 9th grader there. The other 5 have graduated college with doctor, Biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, teacher, and biochemistry degrees.
As you can tell education is very important in our home as is our faith. I will never forget the times I had to make the unfair choice between the two. I remember having to drive, Zainab to school to take a standardized test on Eid, or convincing them to take off days from school to celebrate Eid with us as a family and miss days from their education. As a mother, you have no idea how difficult these decisions were for me to make.
My daughters joined the efforts of the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays. They wanted to fight for their rights. I could never have been prouder. They are driven by their faith to give back to our community and our city. That’s why they signed and collected petitions so no student would have to make that unfair choice between education and faith like we had to do.
Now that its the law, standardized tests can’t be given on any major religious holidays. We won because of individuals like my daughters and yours who stood up for our rights.
We will continue to fight until the mayor keeps his promise and tells us when our schools will finally close down for Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul Fitr. I am committing to this fight not only for my daughters and granddaughters but all of our children. Hope you will join me, and Inshallah we will see this happen sooner then later.
My name is Ramatoula Gassama and I am in the 8th grader from the Bronx.
Good evening everyone, my name is Ramatoula Gassama and I am in the 8th grader from the Bronx. I’m here today to say schools should be closed on Muslim Holidays. As a student, I think it’s wrong that we have to choose between going to school and celebrating Eid. It is a very special day for us just like Christmas or Youm Kipur is special to others. On that day, we go to the Mosque and pray then we visit all of our family and loved ones and have a big feast.
When people see us, I want them to know why we celebrate Eid. I want them to say, “Hey, happy Eid celebration,” instead of them not knowing what it is. If the schools recognized our holiday, my classmates might ask me about my culture. That would make me feel excited because I’ll be more included in school. I don’t want to have to choose between my education and my religion. If I miss school because of Eid, I miss what the teacher taught that day. That makes it harder for me and can affect my grades. I want to have perfect attendance. I want to hand in all my homework on time and do well on tests so I can go to college and be successful in life.
Please recognize that we are part of this NYC community and we are here to stay. Please close the schools on Muslim Holidays now, so that I can experience it before I graduate.
My name is Umamah Masum. I am 14 years old and attending 9th School on Staten Island.
Good evening my fellow New Yorkers, My name is Umamah Masum. I am 14 years old and attending 9th School on Staten Island. I actually was born on Staten Island in 1999, and when I was 4 years old, I started Pre-k at PS 22. I stayed at PS 22 for 7 years then spent the following 3 years at the school of Civic Leadership (AKA PS/IS 861). So, basically, I spent all my life in NYC, and all my education is in NYC public schools. As a young-American-Muslim, and a proud New Yorker; I want to feel equal to my other friends and that I am treated fairly.
I want NY to love me as much as I LOVE NY. I don’t want to be forced to choose between going to school and celebrating Eid with my family. I don’t want to miss school; I want the EID holidays to become school holidays. I am not alone; there are more than 120,000 Muslim students in NYC public schools. Many other cities around the country already made the 2 Eids official holidays. This is NYC; we should not be following others; we should be pioneers. Mayor De Blasio, you promised to make the 2 Eids official school holidays. I want you to fulfil your promise. You need to do the right thing and fix this situation on your first day in office, or you will hear from me and the rest of NYC . I can’t vote yet, but I’ll be voting when you’re running for re-election in 4 years . Do the right thing and don’t make me go there.