On Monday, the Muslims of central Oklahoma game together at the Mercy Masjid that is adjacent to 39th Street in Oklahoma City to commemorate the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which members of the Islamic faith are prohibited from eating and drinking during the daylight hours.
A steady stream of men, women, and children entered the house of worship and soon some of them could be seen bowing in prayer in a row in front of the building due to the lack of space inside the mosque to accommodate them. Worshippers greeted one another with embraces and sometimes a kiss on both cheeks while they said the words “Eid Mubarak” to each other.
After the prayers concluded, people gathered outside the structure where they were offered small cups of sweet tea, coffee, and spicy shish kabobs by a group of African and Arab men who were dressed in brightly colored robes. Young children carrying tins filled with sweets made their way through the crowd and offered candy to those in attendance. Those present included Africans, Arabs, Pakistanis, and others many of whom were dressed in their traditional robes and hats as were their children. Some of the other attendees wore business suits and ties, while others wore more casual attire.
There was a solemn but celebratory atmosphere at the gathering, as people greeted family members and friends with familiarity and affection in Arabic, Hindi, English, Yoruba, and several other languages. Cell phone cameras were also in use and many pictures were taken.
Many of the attendees later made their way to Zam Zam Mediterranean Grill and Hookah Bar on MacArthur Avenue where a breakfast was offered. There was a festive mood at that establishment and the predominant language in use was Arabic. Patrons exchanged greetings and hugged and kissed each other’s children. Most of the young women present wore headscarves that failed to conceal their beauty and sophistication.
Pony rides and excursions – on what appeared to be a small train that did not need tracks – were offered to the young children present and they could be seen in the saddle and in tiny railroad cars by those who sat under umbrellas on the restaurant deck. Several of the little boys in attendance wore bow ties that appeared to be too large for them, but that did not seem to lessen the joy they took in the holiday. After the meal concluded, some of the men present availed themselves of the hookah bar that is offered at Zam Zam, and the sweet smell of scented tobacco filled the air.