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Post-Ramadan, businesses score with Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr

ANAHEIM The Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan could be a boon for businesses, local Muslims said.

After a month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting, local Muslim groups have reserved massive meeting spaces to launch the festivities.

The Islamic Society of Orange County claimed a 143,000-square-foot hall in the Anaheim Convention Center for morning prayer, while the Islamic Institute of Orange County will occupy Anaheim’s Angel Stadium and the Islamic Center of Irvine will be at Orange County Great Park.

This week Muslim groups also are pairing will vendors to offer special packages and discounts.

The Islamic Circle of North America is hosting Muslim Family Day on Saturday at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Other groups are likely to be arranging carnival-type activities or booking family entertainment centers such as Chuck-E-Cheese, said spokeswoman Marium F. Mohiuddin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

But some Muslims said the Eid holiday, as well as the entire Ramadan month, could be more of an opportunity for savvy business owners.

Post-Ramadan consumption by individuals is also giving a boost to business. Some shops have sold out of Eid greeting cards. According to recent posts on Twitter, Muslims around the world have been out shopping in force, buying flowers, sweets, even phones, Wii games and gifts from Chanel.

"Gosh, my hometown is like a zoo. So much people buying things for tomorrow's Eid day. Omg," wrote one tweeter.

Restaurateurs should take note of the ready Muslim customer base not only during Eid but also throughout Ramadan, said Marya Bange, project director in the community programs office at UCLA.

Between the end of fasting each day of the month and the start of hours of prayer stretching late into the night, there’s not much time for a proper meal. So afterward, many of the faithful descend on 24-hour restaurants and sandwich shops, Bange said.

"We wish that restaurants knew that people are super-hungry after prayer,” she said. “They could cater to the community. It would be smart of them to do that."

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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Gul Mohammad Karza, left front, of Garden Grove, joins hundreds of Muslims celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2009. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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