Eid: Joys and Worries [Archives:2001/52/Reportage]

December 24 2001

Yaser M. Al-Mayasi
Yemen Times
Eid is a well-known religious occasion which Allah has made for many reasons. It is associated with Hajj, the biggest religious assembly and it is a chance to get rid of rancor, hatred and envy.
The days of Eid are unforgettable, especially for children who become overwhelmed with ecstasy and keep playing all day long. However, as one grows up things change to the worst because of the bad economic conditions.
The word (Eid) is closely related to joy and happiness. It is, of course, not only an end to fasting of the Holy Month, Ramadhan, and abandoning the wrongdoings, but opening a new page of repentance which has its special effects on Muslims’ hearts.
What we see these days is that the word Eid has partially changed in its connotations. The happiest ones are children. We realize this by looking at their smiles drawn on their faces. Others are more concerned about how to earn their living.
During my Eid holiday, I met a lot of children. Their faces were sparkling with innocent smiles. Imet them in parks wearing new clothes and roaming here and there cheerfully.
The majority of people spend their Eid Al-Fetr holiday in the countryside and beaches. Eid in the countryside has a special taste. You see people running to to the mosque to perform the Eid Prayer. The Eid prayer is sometimes performed in an open and spacious place. People on this religious occasion shake hands and hug each other amicably.
Layla Taher Al-Mayyasi expressed her best wishes on this occasion and said the nicest thing about the Eid was that people visited each other. Actually, it is one of the happiest days of the whole year. On Eid, wearing new clothes have special effect on me. I remain at home preparing lunch and cakes for guests. Sometimes, I go for a walk or to parks. she added.
Each country has its own specialties of Eid. In Yemen people perform the folkloric dances and games. Despite the difficult economic conditions, even the poor are enjoying themselves. In addition, a kind of cooperative effort prevails the fraternal atmosphere among Muslims. “It is easy to trace the extreme joy in children’s eyes which is more precious and unforgettable, said Layla.
However, the Eid holiday sometimes brings along some of the undesirable habits such as firing in the air or at targets which many times results in regrettable consequences.
Eid days are sometimes bitter, especially for those who cannot afford the basic needs of themselves or their families.
Saif Ali Mohammed bitterly expressed his desperate attempts to find a job to help him provide himself and his family with the Eid demands. Many people in Yemen are just the same.
Eatidal Saeed Mohammed from Hodeidah said:The Eid is considered to be one of the precious religious occasions among Muslims. It signifies celestial and spiritual purification of a true Muslim. describing how she feels towards such an occasion nowadays she said: Not as we used to do in the past. This can be ascribed to many reasons such as lack of public parks for families in general, and for children in particular and the high costs of transportation, she said.
Eatidal thinks that the Eid maybe more enjoyable in the countryside than it is in the city.
The Deputy Director of Hodeidah Radio confirmed that he feels happy when seeing the joy and smiles of children.
The difference between the Eid of today and Eid in the past according to him is that the Eid in the past was overwhelmed with joy and happiness. Nowadays, the deteriorating conditions of Yemen’s economy have created an atmosphere of sadness and sorrow. A lot of people are unable to buy the necessary things for their children, he added.
Nabeel Al-Akkad from Taiz said religious ceremonies have moments of purity predominating the entire Islamic nation. Muslims show great interest in Eid and more solidarity and cooperation with the poor, he said.
Shareefah Maresh, a beggar said “My son died and I found myself begging in the streets to feed myself.
Baggash Abduhrahman, a schoolteacher, said ” I have five children and my salary is not enough to meet all of their demands and requirements.
Eid is a religious and Islamic event when thousands of Muslims gather from all around the world to perform the fifth pillar of Islam “pilgrimage”. It is the occasion when everyone forgets sorrow and when children become overwhelmed with joy and happiness. However, nowadays because of the bad economic conditions of the country, Eid has become more a burden than it is an enjoyable occasion. Parents need to buy new clothes and sweets for children. Ihope that people will demonstrate more cooperation with each other in order to make the best of this occasion.