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Members of the Saudi Student Association and children attended the event. Courtesy of Ahmed Alhafah.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for people to celebrate birthdays and holidays around the world. But, the Saudi Students Association at Kent State celebrated Eid al-Fitr on Monday, June 1, by distributing presents to children in their community and providing Arabic coffee to adults. 

Hamad Albiabi, president of the Saudi Students Association at Kent State, said Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr with purely human and social nature, exchanging congratulations, joy and pleasure.

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Hamad Albiabi, the president of the association, and Nidaa Alyamani, a member of the association, taking photos with children. Courtesy of Ahmed Alhafah.

Albiabi said the Saudi Students Association works to strengthen social bonds between the Saudi Arabian students during the academic year.

“We targeted primarily Saudi students and their families,” Albiabi said. “We aimed to draw joy in the hearts of children and the Arab and Muslim community at Kent city.” 

Following Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr is the first holiday of the year that Muslims celebrate. It is called Eid al-Fitr because it comes as the first day that Muslims break their full month of fasting. 

“We decided for the celebration to be a drive-thru style, where the car stops in front of the event headquarters, and the sweets, toys and gifts go to the children in the car,” Albiabi said. 

The Saudi Student Association at Kent State celebrated Eid al-Fitr safely, taking all the necessary precautions and social distancing.

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Hamad Albiabi handing gifts to car passengers. Courtesy of Ahmed Alhafah.

"We tried as much as we could to make the celebration safe for all,” Albiabi said. “We sanitized all the gifts before handing them to children, and we all committed to wearing masks and gloves and always making sure to sanitize after each car.”

Albiabi said the event started at 6 a.m. and lasted for nearly four hours until all the gifts were distributed. Nearly 20 families attended the event with their children. 

“We will celebrate again in better conditions,” Albiabi said.

Contact Ray Bukhari at

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