Is There Eid In Gaza?

Just had some thoughts about Eid holiday in a flash of a second. Funny how one of the  things that makes it feel like holiday is the way we name the days of the Eid as ” the first day of Eid, the second…” so that we actually have to remember what day of the week it is. It’s like our minds want a break from anything having to do with our regular lives including school, work and every other form of commitments we have.

Eid is presumably the happiest time of the year for Muslims. What could be better than having a couple days of lethargy without feeling guilty? But when I truly think about it, or rather measure the intensity of my emotions towards this big event in my life, I’m poignantly thwarted. There’s no real sense of being overjoyed or thrilled, in fact Eid has become one of the most depressing times of the year for many not just me. I try to think happy thoughts, but find it challenging and defeating. I try to push away the impact of the hard facts on the ground both here in Gaza and in the region. I’ll start with the regional situation first, that is Syria. How can anyone be expected to put a smile on a face or celebrate while watching bloody images of untold horror torture and death stories. It’s been 20 months into the Syrian Revolution and hearing the death toll of Syrian martyrs has appalled any sense of trust and faith in the international community which I might have had one day long time ago when my mind wasn’t mature enough.  It’s absolutely sickening how the life of humans is worthless when weighed against the economic benefits and lust to dominate. So instead of sending NATO planes, as it did in the rich oil reservoir  of Libya, to put an end to the monstrous killings, it has chosen to stand idly and let the Syrian Dictator Regime rampage on in its ruthless killing spree. I’m no political analyst here, but I want to state the facts in their simple matter of fact way because it doesn’t require a genius to analyze what is going on. So that’s one thought which certainly disturbs the Eid.

The second fact which spoils my train of happy thoughts is inside Gaza. Despite the hardships of siege and pre-Eid extra-judicial killings of fellow Palestinians carried out by Israeli drones and F-16s, I suppress my mind to think only about the happy occasion, square my shoulders and take my kids out to shop for new clothes. After all, that is a rock solid Eid ritual embedded into our culture; new clothes and a new everything if possible. As I set my foot into the streets, I find majority of shops packed with women and children grabbing garments before they run out. I can understand a child’s excitement to buy new clothes and try to remember how it must have been a nice feeling when I was my kids’ age. I could tell this by the light in their eyes as they put on that new piece of clothes as if they’re a royal prince or princess. May be I need to keep looking into their eyes so that magic can be transferred or caught communicably. It’s sad how this magical feeling starts to fade as they move into more mature phases of their lives.

As I walk with one of my daughters by the shops, the rattling of the roaring power generators does more than enough to obliterate any thoughts of peaceful thinking about the upcoming holiday. Every single shop has one of those monsters chained to its door giving off the most horrible smell and unnerving noise.  Despite this, the shoppers seem to be deaf to that noise bustling about. But for me, I think it just spoils the serenity and purity of the atmosphere.

Today has marked the last day of Eid, uhh… yes, Monday and my mind will be tuning back to my normal routine, but the abnormal life of Gaza still persists. However, I will absolutely shun this pessimistic behavior and remind myself of the blessings we have as we await the visit of the King of Bahrain in only three days who also happens to be Hamad.




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