Eid Mubarak From The White House

The White House released a statement earlier this week marking the beginning of Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha:

Michelle and I would like to send our best wishes to all those performing Hajj this year, and to Muslims in America and around the world who are celebrating Eid-ul-Adha. The rituals of Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha both serve as reminders of the shared Abrahamic roots of three of the world’s major religions.

During Hajj, the world’s largest and most diverse gathering, three million Muslims from all walks of life – including thousands of American Muslims – will stand in prayer on Mount Arafat. The following day, Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid-ul-Adha and distribute food to the less fortunate to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son out of obedience to God.

This year, I am pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with the Saudi Health Ministry to prevent and limit the spread of H1N1 during Hajj. Cooperating on combating H1N1 is one of the ways we are implementing my administration’s commitment to partnership in areas of mutual interest.

On behalf of the American people, we would like to extend our greetings during this Hajj season – Eid Mubarak.

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating. This Yahoo slideshow contains some really nice images of pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

Obama’s First State Dinner: A.R. Rahman, Jennifer Hudson to Perform

The Obama White House will host their first state dinner tonight in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Set to beginning in about half an hour, it looks like it will be a blockbuster event. Details about the dinner were closely guarded until just a few hours ago, but we now know that A.R. Rahman and Jennifer Hudson are set to perform and that the star-studded guest list will enjoy a very vegetarian-friendly meal. (The Prime Minister is a vegetarian.)

Dinner guests include prominent desis such as Fareed Zakaria, Sanjay Gupta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kalpen Modi (aka Kal Penn), Deepak Chopra, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

The White House website will be livestreaming the dinner starting at 8:15 Eastern. I’ll be posting links to coverage of the dinner throughout the evening on Twitter.

Post your comments of tonight’s festivities below.