Dubai: Muslim and non-Muslim UAE residents continued to find innovative ways to celebrate Eid and still made it a memorable one despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Some marked it with charity work; while others connected with family and friends online and some honed their culinary skills during the holiday break.
The Mendonsas, a Christian family, showed solidarity with their Muslim neighbours by engaging in a charitable activity.
“My husband, who is working for a food distribution company, sourced many essential food products and distributed them to needy families and bachelors,” Indian national Jennifer Mendonsa told Gulf News.
“My daughter too was involved in various charitable activities during Eid,” she added.
For Pakistani expat Danish Sheikh, 30, Eid is always about bringing families and friends together for communal prayers, food and exchanging gifts.
This year, however, was different as they did the celebration only online to adhere to physical distancing measures and curb the spread of COVID-19.
He said: “Unlike previous years, my parents were not able to come here (Dubai). So, we had an online celebration on Sunday morning. I was able to talk to my family in Karachi and we exchanged warm wishes, although it was held only virtually.”
“Yes, I missed my family – until I talked to them through a video call. Seeing their faces made me feel happy,” added Danish, who lives in Bur Dubai.
“We shared Eid greetings and had a nice and long conversation. Eid is not only about sharing greetings and exchanging gifts, it is also about making sure everyone is safe,” added Danish, who said he sent his Eid gifts to family and friends via courier.
Filipino couple Mike and May Malate, found time to hone their skills in the kitchen and bonded with their kids over mouth-watering home-made meals.
“It’s an uncertain and scary time because of the pandemic but everyone still needs to eat, and the act of preparing and serving a meal has brought great comfort to our family,” Mike told Gulf News.
“We made wonderful meals and since both of us are professional photographers, we took nice photos and shared them on social media to inspire other people to do home-cooking. We also baked cakes, breads and other pastries during Eid,” added May.
“But more importantly, we prayed and kept a positive mind. We stayed at home and kept ourselves updated about the pandemic. We remained optimistic that soon this will be over,” she added.