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Zakat Foundation of America Presents a Once-in-a-Lifetime Eid Show

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — These artists, this line-up, this pandemic — it won’t happen again. And it’s all to help benefit a charity that saves lives. 

Zakat Foundation of America is hosting Eid-in-Place: A Free Virtual Show, featuring artists from both sides of the Atlantic who are celebrated by a global audience. This event is to bring us together despite the quarantine. That's what Zakat Foundation does — we bring humanity together. 

COVID-19 is forcing us to follow shelter-in-place orders on a holiday that normally sees our communities gather in the tens of thousands, even renting out stadiums in our cities so we can all stand beside one another for Eid prayer. Because we can’t do that, we are celebrating Eid al-Fitr with those around the world like never before! This time, Zakat Foundation is inviting even more people to celebrate by coming together in a way that includes everyone: online.

Eid-in-Place emerged as the perfect solution,” said Amna Mirza, Zakat Foundation’s head of Marketing & Communications. “We can still gather with our families and communities, celebrate with a fun night of entertainment, and even support the Foundation’s important charitable work. We are delighted to be presenting the show.”

The show is produced by Azhar Usman (PATRIOT on Amazon, RAMY on Hulu), who is a standup comedian, screenwriter and creative consultant. He echoes Mirza’s sentiments: “All of the talented performers on the lineup are not just world-class artists, but high-quality human beings. Everyone wanted to give back to the community and do the right thing during this pandemic. We are psyched about the show, and grateful to work with a forward-looking Muslim charity like Zakat Foundation.”

“When quarantine orders were first put into action, as someone who makes a living with live events, I was scared,” said Paul Elia (Conan, Stillwater, RAMY), who on top of co-hosting is also directing and co-producing the show. “How can I perform? How can I work? And then my thoughts shifted to ‘How can I help?’

“With the help of technology, so many artists are still able to be creative; maybe not the way anyone is used to, but the sentiment is still there. Having the opportunity to work with the Zakat Foundation of America and help raise money for much-needed causes is a blessing.”

Usman and Elia will co-host the family-friendly show, along with Danish Maqbool (former professional gamer @Dmaq). Performers and pop-in guests include indie hip-hop veteran Brother Ali (Fallon, Conan), on-the-cusp comedy star Zainab Johnson (Amazon’s UPLOAD, Netflix’s 100 Humans), one-of-a-kind poetic phenom Amir Sulaiman (HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, RAMY), London-based standup pioneer Shazia Mirza (BBC, Last Comic Standing), and UK-based nasheed-fusion duo Pearls of Islam (The Rabbani Project). Special guests include Mohammed Ali — a UK-based street-artist and curator who has been painting murals around the globe for close to two decades — and surprise guests. Imam Khalid Latif, Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University (NYU), will also stop by to bless the mic.

Learn more at zakat.org/eid, and register for the free show at eidinplace.eventbrite.com. It will be hosted via Facebook Live (facebook.com/zakatus/live). Photos and more information available upon request.