Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan for Muslims across the globe, is here. It is time to celebrate and reflect on the lessons learnt during the month of abstinence. Eid Al Fitr means the festival of breaking fast. The festival reminds Muslims of the inherent recurring blessings of Allah on mankind.
Eid is celebrated in different ways across the world and the UAE, too, has its own distinct style. With over 200 nationalities residing in the UAE, the country is a melting pot when it comes to Eid celebrations!
Khaleej Times met a few families – some who have been in the UAE for long and others who are new – to see what Eid means for them and how they would celebrate.
Eid is a perfect time for family bonding for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Some go out of the country to explore new places while others prefer a ‘staycation’ with family and friends.
Dubai-based Malate family went to Tbilisi last week. “Every year we grab the opportunity to have a vacation during Ramadan or Eid. Although it’s always brief, at least we spend time together meaningfully,” Mike Malate, head of the family, told Khaleej Times. “We also owe it to the UAE, a Muslim country, for allowing us to freely practise our Christian faith,” he added.
Likewise, for the Tamano family, Eid is a time for a reunion of family and friends.
“As an expat Filipino family who belongs to the Muslim minority in the Philippines, living in the UAE for almost 12 years has been a huge blessing for us, especially during the holy month of Ramadan,” says Sahron Roy Tamano.
This year’s Eid festivity, however, takes a more solemn celebration for the family, in light of the current conflict in Marawi City, where the Tamanos hail from.
Eid is a special time for those who celebrate it. Every family has their own way of marking the occasion through their own set of traditions.
These traditions could be putting on henna, visiting family, having a picnic at a park or spending the day at a theme park – it varies from family to family. Whichever activity one chooses to do during Eid, they become important memories, especially for children.
Twenty-year-old Sudanese expat in Dubai, Ayman Zain, still can’t forget his first Eid memory in the emirate. “My first memory of spending Eid in the UAE was when I was 15 years old and my whole family gathered around at my aunt’s place to celebrate,” said Zain, a university student.
For Mohammed Mustafa Saidalavi and family in Abu Dhabi, Eid Al Fitr is a time to teach kids the value of sharing. “It is a way to teach my children how fortunate they are while there are many out there who are struggling without any comforts in life,” said the father of four from Kerala, India.
The UAE-based companies have shown their caring side by organising special events for labourers who are unable to be with their families.
Organisations such as the World Memon Organisation (WMO) – which provided 100,000 Iftar meals at three labour accommodation sites in Dubai and Ajman – have said the money they saved during Ramadan will be used to buy new clothes for workers during Eid.