By Shefa Ali
Yesterday was the first time I celebrated Eid in Doha since 2009. I loved every minute of it, waking up at 4am to get ready for the Eid prayer, arranging flowers, baking and getting the table ready for our guests. An untidy living room with cups and plates everywhere, guests that stayed way past my bedtime, it’s exactly my idea of what Eid should be.
Eid has a special joy. It is the joy at the bounty of God, His mercy and the many wonderful blessings which have been bestowed upon us. During Eid, families and friends gather together, sensing the deep belonging to this Ummah and this religion, it’s a beautiful feeling of oneness.
However, like everything else, the way we celebrate it has also changed. Like I said, it’s the first time I have been in Doha since 2009. I am usually travelling, yesterday I was reminded of what I have been missing out on.
Getting up before sunrise to get ready for the Eid prayer, which was around 5:15am invokes such a feeling of serenity. These days many people go to sleep in the small hours of morning, which makes it hard for them to wake up to go to the mosque on Eid, so some don’t bother going which is a really sad thing to miss out on.
Back in the early 2000s in Qatar, I remember going from house to house in the morning to wish people Eid Mubarak, have a quick cup of ghawa (Arabic coffee) and then on to the next visit. Nowadays, many people don’t know their neighbours and visits are so much more formal, so that joy of morning Eid hopping is kinda lost.
Are people losing respect and passion for Eid? Some celebrate Eid just like any other day, some even spend the day in bed. I feel the concept of Eid is totally different than what it was a decade ago . People still host lunches at home and some go out for dinner in the evening but the simplicity that used to make Eid a joyful occasion is not there anymore. It’s more about wearing the designer clothes and shoes and the number of dishes now. Because, if they don’t upload their pictures on social media, how will others find out about the stupendous way they celebrated the big occasion.
Instagram and Snapachat is where most go to demonstrate to the world what they did on Eid. I am not against this idea, but by becoming obsessed with posting on these apps, we somehow overlook the spirit of the occasion and forget our identity.
Years ago I remember mouth-watering dishes a night before Eid, expecting guests immediately after Eid prayers. Nowadays, it’s different. What’s the need of spending hours in the kitchen when ordering online is so much simpler? Yes, expensive food is served to guests and family, but that novelty of home cooked delicacies never gets old.
As we get older, the excitement of Eid seems to lessen; from now on I am going to make a conscious effort to hold on to the excitement of Eid.
* The author is a Life & Business Coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com
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