Born and raised in Jerusalem, Safa Lafy is used to celebrating the holy Muslim holiday of Eid with family in the Middle East. This year, she celebrates with new family: the Lansing Muslim community.
"Here, we're all together, all the Islamic counties, and we celebrate together here," Lafy says.
The feast of Eid marks the end of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, also known as "hajj." On Saturday the Islamic Center of Greater Lansing met at MSU's IM West Building to celebrate and pray together.
"It's wonderful, the feeling of togetherness and feeling of community," says Khaled Soubani. "We always look forward to this day."
Organizers estimate around 2,000 people attended the Eid celebration Saturday. The crowd was diverse, with Muslims from places like Somalia, India and Iraq. Islamic Center spokesman Mohamed Mahgoub says the celebration is an opportunity for non-Muslims to learn about the Islamic community.
"We are mostly American citizens," Mahgoub says. "We'd like to make bridges with non-Muslims."
Saturday's event included a sermon and "rakkah," the traditional kneeling prayer. In Islam, men and women pray separately. Mahgoub says Eid is both a retrospective and introspective time. Eid will last four days.