Over 1000 people attended the Eid Community Mela took place once on Sunday 4th June in the Fort Gardens in Gravesend. The Mela celebrations were produced by Cohesion Plus, working with Gravesend Skills Centre, Kent Equality Cohesion Council, Involve Kent and local community members.
The ethos of the Mela was to celebrate Eid and bring communities together regardless of faith to showcase a diverse range of artists and community stalls which showcased the wider diversity of the Muslim community in Gravesham.
There was wide array of activity both on and off stage with highlights including Syrian band Jamal and Alaa, Pakistani act Raag Qawali Group, North Indian fusion act the Kings of Dhol, Bangladeshi singers Shumon Sharif and Syeda Nasim Queen along with a Kurdish Dance Performance by members of the local community.
Off stage attendees were able to enjoy free musical workshops for young ages by the Playground Project, cricket workshops by Kent County Cricket Club working with Gravesham Cricket Club as well as face painting, fun fair and a range of food and community stalls including Kent Police, Rethink Mental Illness and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Civic guests included the High Sheriff Nadra Ahmed MBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant Rosemary Dymond and Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Gurdip Bungar who all spoke at the celebrations and congratulated those marking the occasion.
Gurvinder Sandher MBE DL the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented “The backbone of our work is to promote community cohesion through the arts, breaking down barriers. Also important to us is provided a platform for culturally diverse artists to perform. The Eid Community Mela was the perfect blend of both ideals and we are very thankful to everyone who attended those of Islamic faith and those who aren’t. I am so very pleased that we were all able to celebrate together”
Khawar Khurshid from local company Gravesend Skills Centre who were one of the key community partners for the Mela commented “We were proud to support the Eid Community Mela. Eid is a special time for the Muslims around the world and this time it was made extra special for us in Gravesham as we were able to celebrate with all of our friends and colleagues at the Mela regardless of faith.”