The Muslim American Leadership Alliance, in conjunction with the Middle East Institute, will host an Eid al-Adha celebration and cultural exchange in Washington, D.C., from 6-8 pm on August 12. Eid al-Adha, or “Festival of Sacrifice,” began Sunday morning and ends Thursday evening. The holiday coincides with the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham in Jewish scripture) to sacrifice his son in accordance with God’s will. This eventuality was prevented, according to the Koran, by the swapping of a ram or sheep in place of Ibrahim’s son Ismael. Muslims generally mark the occasion by eating “savory” foods, with some slaughtering an animal whose meat is then distributed among family members, neighbors and the poor. During Eid al-Adha, it is also customary to don new clothes and exchange gifts.