As Ramadan ended this coming weekend, Muslims worldwide are now celebrating the festival of Eid al-Fitr.
The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month. It is a chance to enjoy special dishes while gathering with family and friends.
The holiday was not recognized by Broward County Schools until last year. The school board voted to make a day off for the entire district for the 2023 school year. The vote occurred after local student leaders and local group Emgage Action USA joined together to make it happen.
According to Emgage USA, it is a big step forward for the Muslim community in South Florida.
“Our goal now is to help other counties by doing the same,” Florida’s Executive Director of Emerge USA, Ancel Pratt, said.
According to Emgage USA, over 17,721 Muslims under the age of 18 are living within Broward County. Nearly 89% of Muslim, Arab-American and South Asian residents in Broward keep their children home from school on these Muslim holidays.
Those numbers were enough to convince the Broward County School Board to make April 21, 2023 a day off for the entire district. Schools will be closed for the day.
In addition to advocacy, Emerge works on a number of community outreach events from voter registration to food distribution for those in need in the Muslim community.
At this point, Miami Dade Public schools does not recognized Eid al-Fitr as a school holiday. The Miami-Dade Public School issued a statement, saying in part:
"This District recognizes the significance of Eid al-Fitr and is currently making accommodations for students and employees who celebrate the holiday since the last day of Ramadan falls on a testing date as a result of community interest. M-DCPS is asking the Florida Department of Education to take this into consideration when planning the testing schedule for next school year."
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.