Dubai: UAE residents celebrated Eid Al Fitr in festive fervour, albeit a bit subdued, owing to social distancing norms put in place by government coronavirus protocols, on Sunday.
“It was a special Eid although it was very different in the way we celebrated this year,” said Meghna Khan, who celebrated Eid Al Fitr with her husband - Muhammad Umar Khan, daughter - Alishbah Khan and parents Susheel Chandra Tiwari and Meera Tiwari at the family’s residence in The Greens.
“We did keep up with most traditions, but it was not the social affair that Eid normally is all about. Of course we are not in a normal situation right now and in a limited way, we made the best use of the Eid celebration,” she added.
“We did not visit any friends. Only one friend popped in to wish us and left very quickly. Thankfully my parents are with me and they got to see first hand how we celebrate Eid,” she said.
Meghna’s parents are Hindus and so Eid was a special celebration for them too.
“My daughter received Eidiya (gift) from her grand-parents,” said Khan. “We also did a virtual zoom chat with my husband’s parents who are in Lucknow, India. My daughter showed her grandparents all the dishes we made at home and shared it virtually. Traditionally we would have all spent Eid together but this year it was not to be the case,” she said.
Hailing from Lucknow, India, Meghna prepared some traditional dishes like Kimami Sewai made of roasted vermicelli, sheer khorma, another festival vermicelli pudding, mutton rice dish, kababs, dal makhni (black lentil gravy), and another potato dish.
Jordanian expat Redab Hashemi, married to Iranian Ehsan Hashemi spent Eid at her in-laws residence. Naturally the menu was traditional Persian dishes including Morgh Shikam Por, Zaffron rice, tabbouleh and maamool, a traditional dessert. “This Eid was different but also one for which I felt very grateful. On Eid morning I woke up feeling hopeful and thanked God that my family and I are safe and healthy. We are all together and that is what is important.”
“We did not get to see any of the uncles, aunts, but that is fine. We know they are safe and we want to respect the social distancing rules in place.”
Pakistani Uzma Suleman and her husband Fahad Farooq celebrated Eid at home, but made sure to have a long nice chat with extended family on Zoom to wish them all on the occasion. “It was a nice long chat including sharing the food virtually, showing everyone what we made. We were constantly on zoom updating each other on the celebration. It’s been a subdued celebration. I missed the fact that my children missed out on physically spending time with cousins. That is always a special time. But luckily my in-laws are here so at least we felt like there was family around with us.”
Of course Uzma made sure all traditions don’t die just because there is a pandemic in place. She made the trademark Nihari (mutton) biryani that is a must have dish for Pakistanis on Eid day She also made a chicken biryani, Zarda (sweet rice a dessert) Sheer khurma (milk with vermacilli and nuts, another dessert dish).
Sri Lankan expat Yoshita Ahmed, married to Pakistani Ghufran Ahmed said she felt grateful the couple had their daughters Maheer and Malieha by their side this Eid.
Their son Imran however is in Pakistan studying and the family missed him on the occasion. “Because of the pandemic we were not able to get him back to spend Eid with us. We missed him but such is life and we have to be grateful that all of us are safe and healthy at this point.”
She too made Keema, Haleem, sheer korma among a variety of cool drinks, traditionally prepared for Eid.