FARGO — At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20, hundreds came out to the North Softball Complex and laid out their prayer rug.
People stood, bowed, and then kneeled on the ground for the Muslim holiday of Eid. The holiday celebrates the Prophet Ibrahim — otherwise known as Abraham from the Book of Genesis.
It is the second time Eid has taken place during the pandemic — which normally follows the Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca. A group effort between the Islamic Society of Fargo-Moorhead, NDSU's Center for Immunization Research and Education, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services have set up a vaccination clinic for those in the community a chance to get vaccinated.
At the clinic, COVID-19 precautions were in full effect, as participants masked up. Pfizer vaccinations were given out to anyone old enough who wanted one, some for the first time.
13-year-old Muaad Bashir said he liked getting the vaccine in a familiar spot.
"It was pretty cool, because this event was in the same place last year," Bashir said.
According to Kaiser Permanente; In North Dakota, the vaccination rate in the black community is at just 35%, compared to 57% for white people.
Event organizers said that events like this are important for a number of reasons. One of those being local religious leaders bringing a a sense of trust to the community, and another reason being attention paid to special cultural practices. For example, at this event there were male nurses for male patients and female nurses for female patients.
North Dakota Department of Health's Health Equity Immunization Coordinator Kiamya Philson said that cultural practices are not the only challenge at these events.
"Some clinics may not have those translation services available, or they may not be familiar with the culture," Philson said.
The clinic gave out 23 vaccines during the event, in the hope that next year's Eid won't be the third one of this pandemic.