Eid is one of the biggest celebrations for Muslims. Usually around this time of the year, I find myself thinking about the excitement of Eid in Pakistan - the hustle and bustle in the bazaars, the constant calls to the tailor to get your clothes ready in time, the henna tattoos, the food and of course the massive family get togethers.
I have spent most of my life living in Non-Muslim countries. My high school of over a thousand students had just a handful of Muslims. Within our small community, we tried to make Eid as special as possible. My parents would decorate the house with lights, we dressed up, we had community dinners and visited each others homes.
This year something different happened. Canada Post revealed their Eid stamp and I was giddy. Actually, a lot of us were - I saw that story shared by Muslim friends living in Canada and abroad. As soon as they became available, I bought several packets. Later that night I started to think what it was about those stamps that made me that excited. I realized it is because I finally saw myself represented. I am so used to being the minority and not seeing myself identified in mainstream media and pop culture. I grew up having to constantly explain what Eid is, but now, in 2017, I can buy Eid stamps in post offices and Ramadan books in major department stores in Canada!
The current global climate has been increasingly intolerant, especially towards Muslims, and to see this acceptance of diversity gives me hope. This year is Canada’s 150th birthday. No doubt there is much for us to work on, but I think we should also congratulate ourselves on how far we have come. I know we have flaws, but as a whole, we are a welcoming, kind and peaceful nation.
This Eid, and on Canada’s 150th, let’s make some promises. We should strive to be more accepting, more respectful and more loving of each other, not just because it’s the Islamic thing to do, but because its the human thing to do.
Eid Mubarak everyone and thank you Canada Post for the stamp on my heart!
Ps. A special shout out to our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for continuing to lead with love rather than being tempted by the politics of division.