Facing tight lockdowns, curfews, mosque closures and bans on gatherings due to the pandemic, Muslims in different communities have come together, with a sense of creativity on how to celebrate Ramadan with joy.
Along this line, the Muslim community in Dearborn, Michigan, decided to start a new tradition this year, while still abiding by social distancing guidelines.
The community is hosting a Ramadan lights competition with aim of spreading joy and bringing back some of the holiday spirit.
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While many Muslims decorate their homes during the month, the Dearborn community has turned the custom into a challenge.
Residents will nominate their own houses, or their neighbor’s, by sharing their address and a photo of their decorated home by May 11, CNN reported.
The photos will be shared on social media and the public can vote on their 10 favorite houses from each district. Judges will then pick the best lit-up homes in the city.
Documentary filmmaker Razi Jafri, who works for the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, launched the challenge in collaboration with the Michigan Muslim Community Council and the city’s annual Ramadan Suhoor Festival.
“This will help raise spirits by providing a positive, pro-social project for the community to get involved with,” Jafri said.
“It’s amazing because both Muslims and non-Muslims in the community are getting so excited about it. There’s been so much positive energy that has come out of this already. “
Dearborn, considered the center of Arab America, is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the US.
As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 98,153 and is home to the largest Muslim population in the United States, according to Wikipedia.
“This project is just the perfect blend of American and Muslim culture,” Jafri said.
“American Muslims are such an important part of the fabric of American culture and this is a great expression of that.”