fb-pixel Skip to main content

Lewiston, Maine’s second-largest city, adds Muslim holidays to school calendar

Worshippers wearing protective face masks offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a shrine in Tehran, Iran, on May 24, 2020.
Worshippers wearing protective face masks offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a shrine in Tehran, Iran, on May 24, 2020.Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press

LEWISTON, Maine — Maine’s second-largest city, which is home to a large number of residents from Somalia, is adding two holidays to the school calendar to mark the Muslim holiday known as Eid.

The School Committee voted 8-1 to recognize two festivals as significant events for the city’s Muslim community.

“We will no longer have to ask kids to choose between their school and their faith,” Superintendent Jake Langlais told the Sun Journal.

The holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, are annual celebrations held around the world. Eid-al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting determined by the Muslim calendar.

Advertisement



“This makes Lewiston a welcoming place where people will feel ownership, dignity and respect,” school committee member Kiernan Majerus-Collins said.

Ayesha Hall, equity resource officer for Lewiston Public Schools, said the change was not about days off.

“It’s about celebrating the diversity of (Lewiston Public Schools). We have to make sure we are honoring diversity with action,” she said.