A Qatari’s Eid

 I thought that some people may find it interesting to know what goes on in Eid with my family.

The children wake up early in the morning. Excited. Playing. Waiting for the day to start. It’s Eid! The adults lay slumbering in their beds and wake up around 8-9 am (after waking up in the early morning for prayers and going to bed). After a hearty breakfast which consists of eggs, olives, honey, cream cheese, bread, and tea, it’s off for a quick shower and everyone puts on their brand new clothes that were specifically bought for Eid.

Eid is about celebration and about looking your best for your family as well.

It’s off to prayer before heading off to Baba Oad’s (Grand Father) house. All of the 50-60 cousins, 6 aunts and 6 uncles (as well as a huge amount of indirect relatives) arrive. The women go off to the sitting room, the men go off to their sitting room, and the children run around the house.

The general banter is usually along the lines of, “When are you getting married?”, “Why haven’t you been visiting more often?”, “Are you working hard?”, and “What have you been doing these days?”.

Children will come around and ask for Eidiya. This could be anything from 1 QR to 10 QR (more if you really like them ;) ) and then go out to ‘Ayid’ to the neighbours by singing songs and getting a few riyals in return. It’s our form of ‘caroling’.

When the children get back, they sit around and count their new found fortunes and plan what they’re going to buy.

Soon enough, it’s time for the feast. We all sit around the floor and dig into a selected slaughter. It sounds kind of cruel to some, but it’s an animal that is killed the Halal way (the most humane method possible where the animal feels no pain). Rice, drinks, lamb or sheep and chit chat.

After washing our hands, we then return the sitting rooms where we have a nice cup of tea (mint, red, or saffron), and relax.

The adults then slowly each return to their homes or go off to make their rounds to other close friends and relatives and wish them a prosperous future. Kil sina wa inta tayeb or kil am wa int ibkhair (every year and you are fine) is repeated from individual to individual.

What we did was head off to a coffee shop where myself and cousins chatted about memories and teased each other. What I was thinking about this year was that it was sad that the new young generation will not get to experience Eid the way that we did. Not many go out to different homes and mix with other town kids. It’s sad. The price of modernization.

 

Note: This is just a memory from my personal experience. Also read ‘We’re not the Borg!


Photo by Jeff Epp

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It’s Almost Eid! 

Eid’s almost here.

 

 

Didn’t we already have an Eid this year?

Quite a few people asked me “Didn’t we already have an Eid?” and it dawned on me that this might be a good time to explain the two Eids (Eid means celebration) that we have a year. The first one happens right after Ramadan. It’s called Eid Al Fitr which is translated as the Celebration of Breaking Fast. It’s a national holiday, shops will usually decorate for Eid, and family and friends gather together. Everyone dresses up in their best clothes and the kids go out singing songs and getting Eidiya (candy or money).

The second Eid is Eid Al Adha. Translated, it means the Celebration of Sacrafice. It’s also known as the Big Eid. The reason why this is such an important Eid is because this is the one that began the construction of Kaaba (the Black Square in Mecca). This is celebrated in the same way as Eid Al Fitr.

Here’s an interesting fact, in Malta, Easter is called Eid. (I thought that was quite cool).

Anyway! There’s going to be some great festivities, especially at Katara! Between 7:30pm and 10pm you’ll be able to enjoy Fireworks, Dancing Fountains, a light show, and laser show! Be sure to take your family and friends :)

So, now that you know that we’ve got two Eids, here are other blog posts which you might be interested in :)

A Qatari’s Eid

It’s almost Eid

Merry Eidmas

Oh and remember, in Qatar, a typical greeting is ‘Eidkum Mubarak, wa asakum min awadah’. Would love to hear more people say it :)

 

Traditions of Eid from QTV – Qatari song :)

Eid’s almost here.

This Eid is particularly special because it’s coinciding with the pilgrimage to Haj.

Here’s some information on Umrah. http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?24,16739

Here are some posts to edify you :)

It’s almost Eid! Celebrate Eid 2010 style!

A Qatari’s Eid

Merry Eidmas

Eid’s coming. Let’s party.

The Quickest Flight in History

Updated: 25/10/2008

Right so I’ve gone and got my E-ID, electronic identification card, henceforth known as an EID card. It really a wallet space saver due to the fact that it’s your ID, License, Medical card, and e-Gate pass in one.

What I was particularly excited about was the e-Gate pass which uses a QR Code. I was happy that I wouldn’t be standing in cues any longer with my frequent trips. Then comes along Qatar Airways online checkin, which is another time saver.

It was now time to see if the airport experience has been simplified to the extent that I could breeze through.

  1. I purchased my ticket online at www.qatarairways.com. Easy.
  2. I attempted to Check in online on the website (maximum 36 hours before departure).
  3. It worked and I was also able to select my seat. I chose the one closest to the exit.
  4. I went to go print the boarding pass (or copy it to my mobile phone) however since I paid with my card, I could only print out a confirmation pass which I had to display at the Quick Check in.

So that was my first stumbling block. Yes its still faster since they just print it out for me, and I guess I had to go to the Quick Check in anyway IF I had some luggage, but I just had carry on. Also note that if you don’t purchase the ticket with a credit card (at a desk or travel agency), you can print out your boarding pass and can skip this (if you don’t have luggage).

Updated: So I entered and went through to the quick checkin desk. The man looked at my paper and issued my ticket. To my left I heard security guards asking “Do we accept this?” while looking at printed out tickets. The airport had obviously NOT bothered to let the whole staff know about the new method.

I walked through security, swiped my egate pass, took a finger print digital scan and thats it. I was lounging around the airport :)

Verdict? Online check in’s the way to go!

The Pen and Bachelor

Besides being a nice name for a pub in England, there are two issues I really want to discuss.
Eid is a day of fun and celebration and a day where children and young men who get their money go out, shop, and have fun.

What would you say if the ‘fair’ management deemed most areas ‘Family Zones’. As we went to the City Center, we sweated as we got closer to the gate. “Are we going to get in?”, my cousin asked. “why won’t we?”, I asked back. “Didn’t you read in the Arabic newspaper? They’ve turned this Eid into a huge Family fest, they might not let us in”. He replied.

We reached the gate and the Indian security guard says “Family day”. I tried to talk to him but he was having none of it. Myself and my cousins sat there, disappointed. My cousin ended up calling his female friend so that we could be deemed ‘A family’.

I can’t believe that this is what is happening in Qatar! What’s worse, there are those who think that Qataris are immune to this rule, but we’re NOT.

Then I read an article in The Peninsula. It was talking about how bachelors weren’t allowed in and how many were annoyed. One man said “Qataris are allowed in”. How the hell can they even bother to include that in the article? It’s absolutely false!

yes there are Qataris in there, however let me explain how they get in, and perhaps ANY nationality should try to be smart enough to do this.

1) Distract a guard
2) Say your mother is inside
3) Say your father is inside
4) You are more likely to slip in if you’re not in a hoard of 60 million guys
5) Bring a temporary woman friend
6) Wait for a woman to walk in and walk by her side

So you see, we Qataris have to figure out ways to get in! Shame on The Peninsula, I’m disappointed at the level of journalism these days.

Eid’s coming! Let’s party!

 As Eid is approaching near the end of Ramadan, there’s alot of celebration in the air.
Note: Eid holiday for government is 28th to 6th this month for 2008. Qatar Stock market closes from 25th. Individual work places will be different.

So what’s it all about? Quite simply, we have two Eids a year, they’re a Muslim person’s Christmas(s). This one is called Eid Al Fitr. After a long month’s fasting during Ramadan, it’s God’s gift of partying. Yep. He’s saying “Thanks for trying your best to understand how precious life is, now go party!”.

It lasts for 3 days and is usually filled with festivities. Children will go around from house to house, sing songs and get money, kids will also play and probably go a bit insane with their new found fortune and buy candy.

It’s also a time where inheritances are distributed and the, once children, and now adults, give to their parents in appreciation for all they’ve provided for when they were young.

Although a religious occassion, I guess that it’s ‘money’ thats in the air. I remember when I was younger, I’d get around 200-300 QR on the first day and be so excited! That’s alot!

Some places usually light up fireworks, there’s live entertainment, and usually plays and theatre shows to please the public.

Late at night, people would go out to simply go all out. Eid Al Fitr in Qatar.

Oh! Don’t forget to say “Eid Mubarak” on Eid! (That’s our Merry Christmas).

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.