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Albany schools consider closing for Muslim holidays

Mar 14, 2017 12:02 am

Bethany Bump is reporting in the Times Union Muslim families with children enrolled in the Albany city schools are hoping the district will choose to acknowledge their faith's two major religious holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. A number of school districts around the country, including New York City and Burlington, Vermont, now close on those days. Albany district officials said Fri., Mar. 10, they are considering the request, and will have the calendar committee take it up for the 2017-18 school year. "To understand what Eid is, it is like having your child go to school on Christmas Day," said Wafia Sarwer, a member of the Islamic Center of the Capital District in Colonie. Most schools are closed on major Christian holidays, like Christmas and Good Friday. Because Albany has a large Jewish population schools are also closed for the high holidays — Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Islam's holidays fall on different days of the lunar calendar each year. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated with a feast to mark the end of Ramadan and will fall on June 25 this year, two days after the last day of school. Al-Adha marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca and falls on Sept. 1, three days before Labor Day. Albany schools do not reconvene until after Labor Day. Read the full story in the Times Union.