I can honestly say this is the first Eid I’ve been genuinely excited about in years. Maybe it has something to do with the henna on my hands – both hands, for once; usually I do my henna myself and due to the fact that I am possessed of only two hands, my right hand tends to be bare – and that we have guests over, but Eid in Dubai, away from family, has never felt right. It probably has a lot to do with my age. Regardless of the reason, this is the first time in about 7 years that Eid has felt like Eid.
To those of you not as familiar with Islamic traditions and festivals, Eid is essentially our version of Christmas. Three-day celebrations, twice a year: one to mark the Hajj, and one to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Today is the first day of the latter, Eid ul Fitr. By virtue of what we celebrate, a lot of food is eaten.
But anyway, it’s exciting to feel the holiday spirit after so long. At the same time, it’s hard not to remember that just on the other side of the region, a massacre in Gaza rages on, a disproportionate excuse of a war waged by the oppressor against the oppressed. Just next door, a seemingly endless civil war has gone on to take more than 150,000 lives. Back home in Pakistan, self-righteous “Muslims” deride and murder those that don’t ascribe to their brand of Islam. 800,000 in Pakistan are displaced because of a military offensive against terrorism. Injustices will continue despite our own celebrations and jubilations at the end of Ramadan.
I’m not trying to guilt. It is our duty as Muslims to celebrate Eid and spread good vibes everywhere. But it is also our duty as human beings to be cognizant of ongoing suffering. Such things do not stop being fact just because we’re taking a break from our own day to day grind.
On this day of happiness, remember those that do not have the luxury of peace, the luxury of visiting family and friends, of preparing meals for loved ones; remember those who are trying to make their Eid special. Remember those who are victims but shrug off the mantle of victimhood. Remember those who are taking their Eid to protest injustice around the world. They are braver than I can ever hope to be. Remember those that have died, and remember that they were human too.
Eid Mubarak, everyone. Keep your prayers, words, vibes and actions going, even today.