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Photography truly has a way of opening new worlds to us.  Seeing a a strikingly photogenic hijab-clad girl sitting on the steps of the musallah (small prayer center) in BF Northwest led me to befriend the Muslims who go there, who then invited me to attend the Eid ul-Fitr celebration in their masjid (mosque) in El Grande.

I jumped at the opportunity to make a photo essay of the occasion.  So early Friday morning I hied off to the address, which turned out to be a house that was converted into a mosque with only the hand-painted words, The Masjid, to indicate that it was one.

BF security personnel were doing a good job of warning vehicles to use another route; the celebration was, after-all, some kind of a street party with attractive prayer carpets laid end to end in front of the masjid and crowded with men, women, and children in festive attires.

I struck a conversation with  Hans Pamplona, a visitor with a very un-Muslim name, who turned out to be not only a fellow Ilonggo, but also a fellow photo enthusiast.  He ended up being a very supportive guide, cueing me in on what was happening and accompanying me inside the masjid, although we only got as far as the entrance as it was a packed house.  Sheik Abdul Razzaq from Pakistan led the prayers and and gave the khutbah (sermon), followed by the dua (supplication).  And then food was served.

Not only did I come away with a lot of photographs of Eid ul-Fitr as it was celebrated this year in BF Homes, I was also given a gift of a pack of dates.  More importantly, I felt they had also given me a gift of themselves.
 


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