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Thu 2 Oct 2008 01:16 AM

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New York's Empire State lights up green for Eid

For second year, city landmark and tallest building marks Muslim religious holiday.

New York's Empire State lights up green for Eid
EID LIGHTS: For the second year, the Empire State Building in New York has marked Eid. (Getty Images)

For the second year, the Empire State Building lit its world-famous tower in green, on Tuesday and Wednesday, in celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Fitr, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday.The US Federation for Middle East Peace (USFMEP) welcomed the marking of Eid Al-Fitr by the management of the Empire State Building, one of the city's biggest tourist attractions and for 41 years, the world's tallest building, the agency reported.

This gesture comes at a time the city's multi-ethnic population is trying to forge a spirit of unity the after the bitter feeling left seven years ago by Sept. 11 terrorist attack which brought down another city landmark and tourist attraction, it added.

Some City Council members are urging the State to add two Muslim holidays - Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha - to the school calendar. Estimates of the number of Muslims in New York City range from 600,000 to 850,000, KUNA said.

Muslim children comprise around 10-12 percent of the more than 1 million students in public schools. The State's rapidly growing Muslim population now includes tens of thousands of new immigrants from Albania and Montenegro, it said.

The United Nations in New York has observed both religious holidays for over a decade in conformity with a General Assembly resolution adopted at the request of Islamic countries.

The Empire State is owned by W&H Properties. Since the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, it is once more New York City's tallest building.

In 2007, Abu Dhabi Investment Council bought a 90 percent stake in New York's landmark Chrysler Building for $800 million, although German property company Tishman Speyer continues to exercise control. The Chrysler building was briefly the tallest building in the world before the Empire State opened 1931.

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