Lockdown restrictions brought a massive change for many families who were gearing up to celebrate Ramadan. It meant that Eid celebrations were celebrated virtually, whereas in previous years Oxford Eid Extravaganza brought the communities together to celebrate this day. For the first time in years, Oxford’s Eid celebrations fell silent in the eerie streets of lockdown Britain. Lockdown may have meant communities weren’t able to come together but the organiser of Oxford Eid Extravaganza, Shabnam Sabir BEM wasn’t going to let the lockdown prevent happiness from being scattered across the city. “ Eid celebrations maybe cancelled this year in person but that doesn’t mean the joy of Eid can’t be celebrated. We cannot do this in person but we can do this in other ways and that is why we want to share our joy by sharing sweets with communities at large. Eid marks the end of Ramadan and is meant to be shared and celebrated with families, friends and the
community at large so that’s what we shall do.” The desire to make people of Oxford still feel and embrace the essence of Eid accelerated and enhanced the power of the response to support the many hundreds of children, young people and families who were self-isolating away from loved ones. Oxford Eid Extravaganza, Oxford City Council, Oxford Mutual Aid, Community Action Group and Populate Co-op formed a love-powered alliance to show the sheer impact of how together we can hold our community in mind. Over 750 parcels of sweets and chocolates were
delivered to families across our city to share the love. Eid is a time where sweets are traditionally shared with neighbors so this was an apt way to celebrate the joy of Eid. For each parcel this gesture of a gift meant that the family was held in mind in a supportive, trusting and nurturing environment. They were held together with this gift, although apart on a day normally celebrated together. If a grassroots community led response can lead to this, then each day we can aim to work towards this sense of working together. Being alongside each other, with respect and care. Working together in the light of our world changing, sharing kindness is the beginning. Across our community groups, local council, faith leaders, educators, key workers, volunteers, etc these small gestures of kindness trigger small waves that create a ripple effect. We would like to thank everyone that joined us in making sure hundreds of people across the city, people of faiths and backgrounds, helped us to make people smile, feel valued and most importantly feel part of a unified Oxford. These times are challenging for us all but a little kindness goes a very long way.