Five years ago, Amira Qureshi invited some friends into her Lexington home to celebrate the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.
Eid-e Milad is a popular holiday in Muslim countries, she said, and she hoped to show her five children a tradition she remembered fondly from her childhood in Pakistan.
Her mother, she said, would be so moved during the celebrations "she would have tears rolling down her cheeks."
Celebrations of Muhammad's birthday are often used as a way to educate non-Muslims about the faith, she said. This year she is hoping even more women will attend. She's expecting at least 100.
Never miss a local story.
Traditionally, the celebrations involve separate events for men and women. The Lexington event, she said, is not designed to be segregated. "We just don't have enough space," she said.
The program, scheduled Sunday, will feature short presentations by a number of Muslims from different countries now living in Kentucky. Countries represented include Pakistan, India, Libya, Iraq, Gambia and Egypt.
The 90-minute celebration is a mix of prayers and education about the prophet's life and his teachings.
Muhammad, she said, is critical to practicing the Muslim faith.
"In order love Allah you have to love prophet Mohammad," she said, using the Muslim name for God. "You can't be a true Muslim if you do not love him."
The program will end with snacks and tea. Qureshi is doing the cooking. The menu includes samosas, kabobs, Pakistani sweets and rice pudding.