Muslims Celebrate Eid Despite Coronavirus

  • The end of Ramadan will occur without prayer in the mosque, without breakfast tables spread on the street, and without family Iftar parties.
  • An astonishing decision made by the Jordanian Ministry of Health has upset the public.
  • In Tunisia, authorities are moving to expand the phased removal of quarantine from next week.

The atmosphere of Eid Al-Fitr is different this year in almost all Arab countries. This changes the aspects and ceremonies of holidays in different countries, due to the closure restrictions and the bans imposed by the expanding coronavirus epidemic. Eid‘s Day this year is expected to be quieter.

Eid al-Fitr also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. Traditional celebrations involve Eid prayers, charity, social gatherings, festive meals, and gift-giving.

The end of Ramadan will occur without prayer in the mosque, without breakfast tables spread on the street, and without family Iftar parties. In Egypt, people expect to buy feast needs, like cakes, biscuits, candies, and a variety of foods to children’s clothing, gifts, and toys, despite the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of coronaviruses.

Markets witnessed the demand of citizens. On Thursday, Egypt recorded 774 cases of coronavirus. This is the highest daily infection rate in Egypt since the first case occurred domestically, with a total of 15,003 infections and 696 deaths from coronavirus infection.

Egyptian authorities anticipate the coming of a holiday by deciding to allow official holidays for all workers in the country from Sunday to Thursday, with the ban adding to prohibiting public transport until Friday, and extended an additional 4 hours to start at 5 hours at night instead of 9 hours at night.

Tukbil Eid in the Mosque of Jordan

In Jordan, the government announced that it would broadcast Eid through the big screen of the Kingdom’s mosque. However, the mosque will remain closed so that people may pray for Eid at home to protect public health. The astonishing decision made by the Jordanian Ministry of Health has upset the public.

The ministry decided to impose a three-day total ban during Eid al-Fitr. Previously, the government allowed movement on the first day of the holidays. The sudden decision led to Jordanian people rushing to the market to buy holiday items before the ban took effect.

In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health has warned about the dangers of rituals that often carry gifts at festivals, especially children’s gifts. The Saudi Ministry of Health called for the need to follow preventive measures during the Eid Al-Fitr to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian government last week eased restrictions imposed by the outbreak of the coronavirus in many cities, including a three-month closure. That caused the Palestinian government to move to the Eid era.

That only confused many residents preparing to say they would impose a comprehensive lockdown on the West Bank. Under that dilution, stores, businesses, and banks were allowed to temporarily reopen in cities that were not seriously affected by the infection.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas officials said comprehensive closures were needed to limit the spread of the virus during the holidays. In addition, several initiatives have begun in the sector to provide Eid bread to poor families, including an initiative called “Eid Kahk Ali” which aims to provide delivery to these families.

In Iraq it was customary for the mosque to pray at the end of Ramadan, but this year’s coronavirus epidemic closed the place of worship and left few Ramadan lunar rituals. Iraqi officials have announced a comprehensive curfew to reduce the spread of coronaviruses in the country during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelation, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.

In Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, the market was markedly congested at the end of Ramadan as many people died as a result of the coronavirus infection. This was despite the health authorities warning of humanitarian disasters in Yemen, especially in Aden.

Tunisian Eid Al-Fitr Preparations

In Tunisia, authorities are moving to expand the phased removal of quarantine from next week. Holidays do not witness special measures, except for the continuation of decisions to prevent movement between cities. The President of the Tunisian government said there are conventions and traditions established during Ramadan and its holidays, but “citizen’s health is invaluable.”

The president noted that the period of embargoes and closures was protracting and said it was neither easy nor economical. Despite the recent success of anti-virus measures implemented by the Tunisian government, it has described its success as “relative and interim,” emphasizing the importance of continued effort and caution as the risk still exists.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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