he Muslim Youth Community Center organized an annual Halal Food Festival Saturdayto draw together families from all Muslim traditions and also to share fellowship with nonMuslims.
For four years, the Muslim Youth Community Center has organized an annual Halal Food Festival to draw Muslim families from all Muslim traditions and also to share fellowship with nonMuslims.
This year’s festival, held Saturday at Rowland Park, drew vendors from Central Jersey, New York City and even as far away as Ohio. The thousands who attended included many Muslim immigrants from throughout the Muslim world, many Muslims who were born here, and also nonMuslims who came for the adventure of tasting something new.
The strong Muslim tradition of charity also was present at the festival. Shaban’s mother, Najwa Alsadi, who owns a school bus company in Totowa, and her grandson were selling snacks and toys for the second year to raise money for Syrian refugees. Last year, they sold $2,000 worth of toys and snacks, and Alsadi matched that dollar for dollar. Then they found another company that would match their $4,000, enabling them to donate $8,000 for Syrian relief to Islamic Relief, which works with UNICEF to get aid to Syrian refugee and Palestinians in Gaza. They hoped to do at least as well this year.