June 10, 2016 – The U.S. Postal Service released a new Forever stamp on Friday commemorating the two most important festivals — or Eids — in the Islamic calendar.
The stamp commemorates two major periods in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr, which ends the holy month of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.
Officials from the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and District Court Judge Sam Salamey were all present at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn Friday afternoon to commemorate the First-Day-of-Issue for the latest stamp.
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“It’s a tremendous honor to celebrate the diversity of this nation through stamps,” said Derron Bray, Detroit’s executive postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service. “Our culture is truly a world culture and stamps allow us to weave together the threads of this diverse nation.”
The 2016 Eid stamp features gold-colored calligraphy created by acclaimed calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya of Arlington, Virginia, according to the Postal Service website.
The script on the stamps reads “eidukum mubarak,” which means “may your Eid be bountiful (or blessed).”
The first Eid stamp was issued on Sept. 1, 2001, and the stamp issued Friday is the latest of several re-issuances since then.
The stamp’s release comes just days after Muslims, including those across Metro Detroit, began observing Ramadan — launching a month of daily fasting, prayer and charitable efforts. Eid al-Fitr, or the “feast of fast-breaking,” traditionally lasts several days, and this year is in early July.
“Usually, the release of stamps coincide with the timing of events they may represent,” Bray said.
Many who spoke at Friday’s event noted the importance of holding the event at the Islamic Center of America, including McQuade.
“It’s great that it’s being issued here in Dearborn — it could be issued anywhere in America, but the postal service chose to issue it here,” she said. “I think that reflects that this is the largest mosque in America, that this is the largest population of Muslim-Americans in America, and we’re really proud that it’s here in our community.”
And beyond acknowledging Dearborn’s Muslim community, McQuade said the stamp sends an important message of religious inclusiveness.
“By commemorating these Muslim holidays, the United States government is putting its stamp of approval on religious diversity,” she said.
Salamey also addressed the current political tensions and praised the postal service for its “bold decision” to release the stamp.
“It also confirms that in America, we are all Americans,” Salamey said.
Albert Harp, emeritus trustee at the Islamic Center of America, said he expects more stamps commemorating Islam.
“Stamp collecting is a hobby around the world,” Harp said. “We expect more stamps commemorating the accomplishments Muslims have made to America and the world.”
Credit kyma.com, sandiegouniontribune.com