Post to the Host

Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

Send GK Your Question »

October 4, 2007 | 9 Comments

Hi Mr. Keillor,
I am a Muslim on the Prairie and have been enjoying your show for almost 10 years now. Last year, you wished all your Jewish listeners a happy Rosh Hashanah and I was waiting and waiting for you to wish my community a Happy Ramadan (or Ramadan Mubarak, even), because the first day of Ramadan was the same day as Rosh Hashanah (as it was also this year) but the salutations never came! Mr. Keillor, Garrison, Sir, you have to know that you have a great Muslim American following! My cousin, who grew up in Pakistan, and his wife, who grew up in Malaysia, are HUGE fans. They keep talking about coming to the Twin Cities so they can see your show live. One of their daughter's first phrases was "hairie home chompanion"!

Anyway, I would LOVE it if you would wish your Muslim listeners Eid Mubarak, or Happy Eid, on your October 13th show, which coincidentally, is Eid — the holiday celebrating the end of the month of Ramadan.

Your Muslim fan on the Prairie,


Ignorance, my good man, is no excuse but it is the only one I have — I didn't know it was also the beginning of Ramadan on Rosh Hashanah. But now I know that October 13 is the end of Ramadan, and so I will send out proper salutations. Perhaps you can suggest the proper tone we should strike — joyful, I assume — and maybe we'd even find someone to sing the Powdermilk Biscuit theme in Arabic We have a Christian host and a Jewish music director with strong Hindu leanings and we'd be happy to whoop it up for Eid. Bang on a pan or dance or do whatever needs to be done.


Dear Mr. Keillor,

To help you for next year, when Ramadahn comes 'round again, count 11 days forward from the 12th of Sepetember to obtain the approximate date Ramadhan will begin inb 2008 (Because Islamic and Jewish calendars are marked out in kunar rather than solar months. (Of course this is contimgent on the sighting of the crescent moon-the first sliver of moon which appears after the new moon.) The month of Ramadahn can be as short as 28 days or as long as 30, again depending on the lunar phases.

As Zainab wished you -or suggested you wish us-an "Ramadhan/Eid Mubarak" (Happy or Blessed Ranadahn/Eid) your response should be "Ramadahn/Eid Karim" (Beautiful Ramadahn/Eid).

The Eid marking the end of Ramdhan and the first of the following month is celebrated with Eid prayers in the morning and family gatherings afterwards.

Hope this little mini-introduction to an Islamic holiday will be some help to you.

Saha (happy) ftourek (meal/iftar)(in Algerian dardja-our Arabic),

I am not a Muslim, but am very happy to hear that you are taking this stance regarding Ramadan I love your openess and capacity to include everyone. Thank you!

Mr. Keillor's response to the Muslim on the Prairie makes me wonder why we all can't just get along? In this case, each man allows the other their differences as long as neither one is being harmful to anyone.

There's a big lesson in there somewhere, I'm sure. Maybe we'll tackle that next week.

Mr. Keillor,

Your Muslim fan used the name "Zainab" - it's a woman's name.

Hello Mr Keillor,

I, too, am a fan of A Prairie Home Companion, having listened to it since I was a small child. As an ESOL teacher, I want to applaud your efforts to celebrate more of the many diverse holidays celebrated in America! It seems expecially appropriate to acknowledge the Muslim holidays, as there is a large population of Arab-Americans (many of whom are Muslim) in the Northern United States. I believe that the largest population is in Dearborn, Michigan, which is smack within your geographic demographic! I wanted to point out, however, (and I could be wrong) that I beleive Zainab is a female name. I had a student last year who was named Zainab, and she was definitely female. :) Thanks again for your wonderful show and your constant efforts to include all Americans in the uniquely American experience of listening to A Prairie Home Companion!

Um, Zainab is probably not a man.

Dear GK, It's nice to know you always look up eclectic.
Ken Wolfe--a fan from almost the Beginning

I am a Nebraska-born Lutheran married for 23 years to a Muslim man. We were both thrilled that you wished a happy Eid on your show. Thanks so much!

Dear GK,
Thank you.
Your Muslim Saudi fan.
PS I listen to you on NPR in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, most likely being broadcasted by the US Embassy. NPR is definitely, one of your best exports.

Previous Post:

Next Post:

Post to the Host Archive

Complete Post to the Host Archive

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy