A time to be grateful
Eid has no real meaning for me as a Christian, but it is important to remember, respect and recognise the day for those whose religion is Islam. It is an important time of year, a time for giving gifts, spending time with family and friends, and being grateful for another year of life and love. I feel it is not a good idea to go out of the UAE at this time, as it is too busy at the airports, so it is best to enjoy what the country has to offer, in the time off we get. On Eid, I visit my Emirati sponsor’s family, something I used to really enjoy when his mum was alive, sadly she is no more. She was what Eid was all about – having her family around her and a big smile on her face. A lovely woman indeed. If I go out over Eid, I see people enjoying themselves. But, then it makes you stop and think of the many people in the world who have nothing to celebrate because of their circumstances, such as hunger, famine, and oppression faced by so many Muslims and people of other religions in the world. So, it is to be hoped that amongst all the enjoyment, there is a moment to say thank you for being the fortunate ones.
From Mr David Woodward
Festivities are a part of every culture. As a non-Muslim living in Dubai, Eid gives me a lot of excitement as the city has many events, discounts and fireworks planned to celebrate the festival. The malls are full of commotion and many items are available for purchase at better prices. Also, the cultural events going on in certain places are a treat for the eyes. Another thing that I like about this festival is seeing people gather in huge numbers at mosques to offer prayers in unison. I learnt about Eid Al Adha, the festival of sacrifice, during school. Like all others, this festival also has some underlying values, namely love, sharing and sacrifice. This year coincides with the UAE’s Year of Giving. So this Eid, I have decided to bring a smile on someone’s face by giving food and other things that they might need. Also, I will have a get-together with my friends, where we will watch movies, share prepared meals and live up to the spirit of the festival.
From Ms Heena Kapoor
A special touch
Our Eid always starts with us seeing an immense number of people gathered for prayers. It’s wonderful to see such a big crowd so early in the day, dedicated and motivated to come for prayer. Eid is an event where my entire family gathers and decides to go out for long drives, because we have the entire day to spend together and the following day is a holiday, too! Last Eid, we even decided to go for a three-day road trip to Salalah, Oman. As far as Eid traditions are concerned, our Eid would be incomplete without some homemade kheer (a vermicelli dessert). It’s a very common dessert in Muslim households on this day, but everyone has a different touch to it, which makes it special.
From Ms Maniza Jalal
The festival of Eid Al Adha symbolises the trials of faith and our loyalty towards the Almighty. It enlightens ours path with the true spirit of righteousness. This festival also symbolises our will to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen the ties of friendship and help those who are in need. It is the festival of sharing happiness, instating equality within society, caring for fellow humans, donating and feeding the needy. The physical act of sacrificing animals is just a ritual, but its essence lies deep within us. It is like sacrificing your ego. It makes us stronger and firmer. The process is essential for the development of moral qualities, tolerance, strength and happiness. Indeed, sacrifice is the essence of life and we should strive hard to sacrifice our money, comfort and time for the sake of humanity.
From Mr Irfan Yousuf Khatri
Eid is a festival of joy and happiness. It symbolises a festival of sacrifice and community service. We celebrate Eid with a lot of enthusiasm. Our commitments for sacrifice are made in advance at the abattoir. The list of people amongst whom the sacrificed meat has to be distributed, is also made. New clothes are purchased for everyone in the family, for Eid prayers. Special dishes are planned and the raw materials for such delicacies are bought well in advance. Alms are given to the underprivileged, so that their Eid is equally joyous and as festive as our own. Al Ain is decorated beautifully and the Emiratis living here are very loving and friendly. I am once again expecting a great Eid.
From Dr Khaja Mohtesham Al Deen
A festive day
In the UAE, there are people of many different nationalities, religions, beliefs and festivals. It is heartwarming to see so many Muslims going to the mosque early in morning for Eid prayers. I usually just observe and watch from the window of my accommodations. If I have a chance to go out, I find the streets usually crowded, with a festive mood in the air. I always send greetings to my friends and colleagues, wishing them a happy Eid. With the traditional sacrifice, our company hands out a package of meat to each staff member and worker.
From Ms Teresa Sanchez Edpan
Editor’s note: Is there a news report that you feel strongly about? Something that has to be addressed in the community and requires resolution? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post a comment on our Facebook page or tweet to us @GNReaders.