YMCA and CAIR Oklahoma: Eid ul-Fitr Festival

In April 2023, Afghan neighbors gathered at the YMCA Rockwell Plaza location for a community-wide Eid ul-Fitr celebration co-hosted by the YMCA and CAIR Oklahoma. This partnership and its impact on the lives of hundreds of Afghan Oklahomans is just one example of how CAIR Oklahoma builds relationships in the community to accomplish more than we can do on our own – a relationship with a national nonprofit that is committed to creating stronger communities and a more equitable society for all of us, no matter who we are or where we come from.

“The most important part of our mission is that we are an organization FOR ALL,” Taylor York, Rockwell Plaza YMCA district executive director, stated. “We are so grateful for the partnership and the opportunity to love, serve and care for an entire community that we had not had the opportunity to connect with before. It is an incredibly special partnership, and we look forward to finding other ways to serve.”

As the first community-wide event for Afghan neighbors since everyone moved into apartments and rental homes, the 2023 Eid ul-Fitr celebration provided a way for Afghan neighbors to gather at one time and in one place. While many folks find ways to communicate during the year, they rarely gather for social reasons in such a large group.

YMCA staff and volunteers helped those without access to reliable transportation and drove four of the organization’s large vehicles to various locations to pick up families for this event and take them home.

Fifty YMCA and CAIR Oklahoma interfaith volunteers and staff prepared the space and assisted guests throughout the evening.

volunteer with kid volunteers with kids

The event included a meal from Shawarma and Co., a local Muslim-owned business, as well as games for the kids, bouncy houses, dancing, and a toy giveaway.

Shawarma and Co. with Adam kids making art bouncy houses at YMCA people dancing wrapped gift

The evening was a glimpse of what Oklahoma is all about. As Adam Soltani, executive director of CAIR Oklahoma noted, “We work beyond the lines of faith and culture and we find a way to connect with people, even when we don’t speak the same language, even when we don’t have the same customs. There’s nothing, in my opinion, that says the Oklahoma Standard more than what you see here today.”

Eid tree Emad and Judy

If your organization would like to support Afghan neighbors, CAIR Oklahoma can help you reach your goals! Email Jen Hund (jhund@cair.com) to learn more.