June 04, 2019
Get To Know Joudi Sinjab
Joudi is a fourth year Kinesiology student at York University. As a university student, she has been involved in numerous Middle Eastern Cultural clubs in which she has helped students socialize and feel a little bit more at home. She has also helped organize and facilitate fundraisers for Syrian and Yemeni refugees. Joudi has a passion for helping people which is why she wants to continue her education to become a certified Physiotherapist.
4 Ways To Celebrate Eid in Toronto
by Joudi Sinjab
Eid-al-Fitr, meaning “the celebration of end of fasting” is the biggest Muslim Holiday all around the world! Eid is my favorite holiday because of all the joy, culture and union I experience! To this day, I make sure I got a banger outfit laid up on my bed all ready to go the night before. Although Toronto is a very multicultural area, spending Eid in Toronto is a little different than back home in the Middle East -- and I think we can all relate -- because it just doesn’t feel the same. But, as long as you’re with the people you love, it can also be a magical and beautiful experience. My family, friends, and I had to get a little creative over the years to get the most out of our celebrations so here are 4 ideas on how to spend your Eid in Toronto:
(1) Toronto Island
If you’re looking to spend the day in a park, Toronto Island is the perfect destination! To get there, you would need to purchase a ferry ticket for $10 and you get to ride there on a huge ferry. The ride there is a bit chilly but it’s a beautiful view. I would recommend going to the top floor and taking some amazing pictures with your loved ones in front of the blue waters and sky. Once you arrive, there are countless activities to do! There is a small pretty beach that my family and I used to love to go to where we would swim and build sand castles all day. There’s also a small amusement park as well! But if you’re like me, in which you like to relax and just enjoy a more chill day, then imagine this: the sun is out, it’s a little bit chilly. You’re walking around the beautiful parks with the greenest trees and the freshest grass with your loved ones. You sit down on a blanket. You then have your favorite most delicious meal (my family used to barbecue every time!). After a lot of good food, you relax while drinking hot Arabic coffee, nibbling on sunflower seeds and sipping on a nice minty shisha on the side. You sit there and reminisce on good old memories while playing cards and laugh till your stomach hurts. Life is good.
(2) Niagara Falls
What better way to spend this holiday than to go on a small road-trip and spend the day being a tourist around the falls? Niagara Falls is about an hour and a half drive from Toronto! Don’t even worry about parking because you can find places for as cheap as $5 for the entire day! Yes, the entire day! There are the cutest Middle Eastern bazaars there where you find tons of accessories and home decorations, just like back home. I bought the most adorable earrings in the shape of a ‘Hamsa’ for only $5. You and your good-looking family can spend an entire day filled with different activities such as wax museums, haunted houses, ferry rides and much more! You can walk all around the falls and take tons of pictures! My personal favorite was the ferry ride under the falls. It’s a 20-minute ride for about $30 but the experience is indescribable! All I can say is you’re going to get a lot of good selfies. Oh, also, be prepared to be soaking wet!
(3) Cultural Festivals
Best part about Toronto is all the multicultural festivals that often happen downtown! There are always tons of beautiful bazaars and different activities to do. There is the MacEid Festival happening on June 4th from 9am-6pm. Firstly, they have an Eid prayer at 10am. After that there are tons of different activities provided such as bubble soccer, carnival rides, food and more! Just think how good you’d look walking through the crowd with your brand new Noomi Eid clothes (currently 15% off with their Eid sale ;) ). Personally, my favorite thing to do at festivals are the bazaars. You can always find amazing handmade, one of a kind items for so cheap and it’s also always wonderful to support small businesses. Another festival happening this week is the ‘Sauga Eid and Kite Festival’ on June 7th from 3:00pm-9:00pm. You can bring your own kite to fly (imagine all the Instagramable pictures you can take), enjoy beautiful live music and authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Admission tickets are $20 per person. It always feels good to be surrounded by the feeling of home on such a cultural day!
(4) Pyjama Eid
I know sometimes doing a crazy day filled with tons of activities may be too exhausting or a little out of your budget but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! Every once in a while, I like to have what I call a ‘Pyjama Eid’. You and your loved ones can do activities in the comfort of your own home. I like to bake cookies or cupcakes and have a cultural cupcake decorating contest. Winner doesn’t do dishes! Then, you can make hot cocoa and watch a cultural movie. You can never go wrong with any of Adel Imam’s comedy movies. Get ready to laugh until you can’t breathe! Or maybe binge-watch your favorite Turkish series. (Mine is definitely Kara Sevda). You can also have a dance party. If you’re looking for song suggestions, here are my top 5:
(1) Shou Helo – Ziad Bourji
(2) 3 daqat - Abu ft. Yousra
(3) Lm3allem - Saad Lamjarred
(4) Bi Rabbek - Nassif Zeytoun
(5) Jamalek Ma Byekhlas - Hussein El Deek
Overall, just spending time bonding with your loved ones and being thankful for having each other is what Eid is all about. Of-course for my family, we always ended up giving back to our community by walking around and feeding those who are unable to feed themselves as it’s the perfect way to give back to the community and inspire others to as-well. Wishing you all a Eid Mubarak and we hope you and your family’s days are filled with love and blessings!
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