Muslims mark end of Ramadan with Eid prayers, though wars in Gaza, Syria cloud celebrations

Published: July 28, 2014


Picture 1 of 16

An Indian Muslim girl displays her henna decorated hands at a roadside stall ahead of the Muslim festivities of Eid al-Fitr, in Mumbai on July 28, 2014. Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

AYA BATRAWY 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Millions of Muslims across the world celebrated the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday Monday, which marks the end of the monthlong fast of Ramadan.

The three-day-long Eid al-Fitr holiday is a time to celebrate the completion of Ramadan, a month devoted to worship and repentance during which observing Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset every day.

But the mood was dark for millions of people affected by the Syrian civil war, the Gaza war and the militant advance in Iraq. Many were just too busy trying to survive to observe the holiday.

Beyond the Middle East, the few remaining Muslims in the Central African Republic’s capital city ventured out to a mosque under the watchful guard of armed peacekeepers. Others like Aminata Bary stayed at home, still too fearful to venture out for fear of attack from Christian militias who drove thousands of Muslims from the capital this year.

In the Philippines, an insurgent group attacked people travelling to celebrate with their families, killing 21, including at least six children, in the bloodiest incident by the gunmen in recent years.

In Gaza City, streets were largely deserted, as residents huddled indoors for safety. More than 1,040 Gazans have been killed, more than 6,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced in the last three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to Palestinian officials. Israel has seen 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed.

“All we think about is to stay safe,” said Fedaa Abul Atta, a nurse and mother of six. The family was grieving the death of her nephew, killed in an airstrike. Her house among hundreds demolished by Israeli fire in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Shijaiyah.

The mood was equally subdued for the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“Eid has no flavour here at all,” said Umm Ammar, who fled her country three years ago with her family and now lives in an encampment in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley. “We want to celebrate Eid in Syria, in our homes.”

Despite frequent car bombings in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad, shoppers packed malls and stores ahead of Eid in anticipation of family gatherings.

Muslims in Indonesia, across the Middle East, parts of Africa, Europe and the U.S. marked Eid on Monday. Millions in Morocco, India and most of Pakistan are still fasting and will likely celebrate Eid on Tuesday. That’s because Muslims use a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to the month of fasting ending on different days.

In West Africa, Eid prayers were dedicated to the victims of two tragedies in the region — the crash of an Air Algerie plane that killed 118 people and an ongoing Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 670.

Eid celebrations were less extravagant than usual in Malaysia as it tried to come to terms with loss of two Malaysian Airlines flights. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Cabinet cancelled their celebrations to mourn for the victims.

Similarly, Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam announced that he would not be receiving guests or congratulations because of the situation in nearby Gaza. Turkish President Abdullah Gul reminded people in his Eid message that though Turkey was enjoying a peaceful holiday, many of its neighbours were not.

In Qatar’s capital city of Doha, celebrations were cancelled in one area and in another the festivities were curbed back to mourn victims in Gaza. Some restaurants also had donation boxes and said they would donate their Eid profits to Gaza.

Iman Eddbali, 26, said the imam leading prayers in her local mosque in Doha urged worshippers to be happy for those who cannot be happy this year.

“It is a religious duty to celebrate the end of Ramadan, … but at the same time it would be indecent to overdo it this year,” she said. “We just can’t ignore that there are many, many people, not just in Palestine, that simply just can’t even have a proper day to rest and mourn their dead.”

——

Associated Press writers Zeina Karam in Beirut; Vivian Salama in Baghdad; Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey; Karin Laub in Gaza City, Gaza Strip; Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan; Satish Cheney in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines; Steve Niko in Bangui, Central African Republic; and Boubacar Diallo in Conakry, Guinea contributed to this report.

11:50ET 28-07-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

A man reads the latest issue of French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo bearing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed at a French bookseller in Abidjan on January 19, 2015. SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

Mumbai police arrest newspaper editor for reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoon

VANCOUVER DESI Mumbai police have arrested and since bailed out the editor of an Urdu language newspaper for reprinting a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Father in India arrested for attempted murder after trying to bury his daughter alive

VANCOUVER DESI A father in India has been arrested for attempted murder after he tried to bury his 10-year-old daughter alive, according to Britain’s Daily…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

Opposition Muted to Harper’s New Anti Terror Bill

BY Ujjal Dosanjh Special to Vancouver Province I smell an election coming. Not in October 2015; much sooner than that. Harper has just unveiled the…
Continue Reading »

Opposition parties treading carefully on new anti-terror legislation

By Stephanie Levitz THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Anti-terrorism legislation introduced by the Conservative government Friday received a cautious reception by the opposition parties who…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Curry chicken on rice. Sam Leung/PNG

Spicy treats on menu as 8 chef teams battle for Vancouver’s second-annual Curry Cup

VANCOUVER DESI A group of Lower Mainland chefs are set to go head-to-head with their South Asian cooking skills as they gear up for Vancouver’s…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sonu Sood and Boman Irani in a still from the Bollywood film Happy New Year.

Indian expat avoids stalking conviction by blaming Bollywood for his behaviour

IANS Sydney  – An Indian man’s excuse that Bollywood love stories encouraged him to excessively approach and stalk women helped him avoid conviction in the…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Commuters hang by doors of a crowded local train in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Three men were killed on Monday after they attempted to take a selfie by a moving train near Agra. AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

College students killed while attempting train selfie in India

VANCOUVER DESI Three college friends on their way to India’s Republic Day celebrations were killed by a speeding train after they tried posing for a…
Continue Reading »

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Akshay Kumar

Askhay Kumar offers martial arts training to visually impaired girls

PRASHANT SINGH HINDUSTAN TIMES Last year, Akshay Kumar — who was a professional martial arts trainer before he started acting — launched an initiative to…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan (L) and Kajol (R) are rumoured to be appearing in the next Rohit Shetty film. Getty Images.

Rohit Shetty tightlipped on SRK, Kajol casting rumours

IANS Mumbai — Bollywood’s blockbuster director Rohit Shetty is remaining tightlipped on rumours he’s managed to rope in a casting coup of Shah Rukh Khan…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Sonam Kapoor never planned to use her father’s fame to jumpstart her Bollywood career

IANS Mumbai  – It’s always thought that Bollywood’s star children have it easy, but actress Sonam Kapoor says that at the start of her film…
Continue Reading »