عيد 10

Shy Happy Smiles in spite of Pain: Eid al Fitr in Palestine

Eid al Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan, 2015 will probably begin tomorrow in most parts of the Islamic world where sightings of Shawwal moon is seen. During Ramadan, devout Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn until sunset; fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, is seen as a time for spiritual reflection, prayers and charity. After sunset, Muslims break the fast by eating dates, performing the Maghrib prayer and then having their main meal. Thus, Eid is considered a joyous occasion for Muslims as a reward for their patience and fasting during Ramadan, but what about Palestine?

In Ramadan 2014, there was an outrageous war on Gaza that reaped the lives of hundreds of innocent children who were waiting for the end of Ramadan to enjoy Eid. Eid came afterwards and many children were killed too.  Children in the West Bank were watching the victimized children of war through TV with a broken heart; the delight of Eid went with the winds of sadness and mourning. Thereby, this Eid is considered very special celebration this year for the Palestinians since they are away from the ghost of war.

Before Eid, women usually prepare themselves to bake Eid cookies (called Ma’mool in Palestine). It is made from semolina or flour kneaded with oil, water, sugar, and margarine; then, it is put for one day. Afterwards, the dough is put in different-shaped molds and women insert nuts and pasted-dates inside it.

Making Ma'mool - Eid cookies

Afterwards, it is baked and offered either with soft sugar sprinkled above or without sugar for those who are in diets

Baked Ma'mool covered with soft sugar

Before Eid people usually go to the shops to buy new clothes and sweets, for the occasion is very special, and it is Sunnah to celebrate it well after the fasting in Ramadan.  As part of the social solidarity, people give money to who are in need to share each other the happiness of Eid. On the day of Eid, people go to the mosques for Eid prayer, then, they scatter to visit their friends and families and exchange gifts and the wishes of a happy Eid.