Getting Dressed for the ‘Muslim Met Gala’


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Washington Square Park is known for its lively atmosphere and eclectic characters. That was no different on Wednesday morning, when hundreds of Muslims filled the park to attend a morning prayer gathering for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

People celebrate Eid by getting dressed to the nines, which is why some jokingly refer to it as the Muslim Met Gala. Many came to Washington Square Park wearing colorful traditional garments like galabeyas, grand boubous, salwar kameez, thobes, kurtas and abayas, some of which were accessorized with opulent jewels or swipes of dark kajal eyeliner. Others chose more casual clothes — like the comic Ramy Youssef, who wore a hoodie and a green baseball cap.

On the morning of Eid, there are many large prayer gatherings throughout New York — in mosques, at high school football fields, on blocked-off streets. The prayer at the Lower Manhattan park, which took place beneath its Roman arch, is known for drawing a diverse crowd representative of the two billion Muslims globally. It is also known to attract notable people like Mr. Youssef as well as the comic Hasan Minhaj and the MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin, both of whom also attended.

From left, Ramy Youssef, Ayman Mohyeldin and Hasan Minhaj enthusiastically greeted each other.

The annual Eid al-Fitr gathering at Washington Square Park was started more than 10 years ago by leaders of the Islamic Center at N.Y.U. “We were just trying to conceptualize space that could fit our growing numbers and be a memorable experience,” said the center’s director, Imam Khalid Latif, who led this year’s prayer before giving a khutbah, or sermon.

“It can be very affirming knowing that in a city as large as New York, you’re not by yourself, you’re not alone,” Mr. Khalid added. “And it helps people also around us who we share space with, who are our neighbors, to know that we’re Muslim, and we are here as well.”

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