Hello world! This is me, Ruba. I have survived and I’m here now, writing again as I pledged.
Well, I hate that habit of talking about sadness and pains all the time. I believe there is always a bright side, even if it hardly shows its light.
Gaza, despite of every thing, is a hopeful city. Ramadan has finished, and tomorrow is the first day of (Eid al Fitr). Gaza is completely a different city in the Eid. You can notice the Eid’s traditions all over the city.
To be more specific, I will tell you how the days of the Eid are spent in Gaza.
(1) Before the Beginning:
“The number you have dialed is unavailable at the moment, please try again later, thank you”.. A killing voice
message you will hear once you call some one! Or it might be “Network busy”, “connection error”!! All people are sending each other messages of “Happy Eid” the day before. If you remembered to send yours early, your messages would be delivered. But may Allah help you if you forgot. You will never be able to send unless you preferred to be late!
[It doesn’t matter, some people are always late]
(2) The Beginning:
All people rush after dawn to the mosques to pray the Eid prayer, even children [but I know children’s purpose ;)] At the mosques, and after prayer is done, people who are in charge of the mosques distribute some pockets of sweets, biscuits, lollipops, balloons, and gums for children, as a kind of spreading happiness.
[You will wish you were a child at such a moment]
Wanna be surprised? Well, Most of the people in Gaza have fish as their Eid breakfast! Yes, fish! But wait, it is not the fish you know! It is too salty and prepared especially for this day! Gazans call it (fseekh)
But not all Gazans like it, since my father does not bring it for he thinks it is extremely salty to be eaten! However, every last day of Ramadan, we beg him to bring us some!
[I bet you will like it, it’s delicious].
It seems I’m talking too much, the next point quickly before I forget myself talking about fseekh!
(4) Eid’s Sweets:
Every family prepares special sweets for its visitors. New type of chocolate must be bought and introduced to visitors with coffee, Pepsi, or juice…etc.
What is unforgotten about Eid is “the cookies”, or what they call it in Gaza (kaa’ek). It’s a kind of sweet dough filled with dates in a circle shape. [Why am I describing? I will show you a photo instead]:
Mothers start making it on the last days of Ramadan, and when their children think about touching a piece of it, they shout at them immediately!
The funniest part about this day is that my uncles challenge each other on which of their chocolates and Kaa’ek are the best!
Eids are the most suitable time for a visit in Gaza. Even if the one you want to visit was sleeping and you rang him, he would never apologize. Instead, he would get up quickly and ask his wife to prepare the sweets and coffee. He would also awaken his children and tell them to wear their new clothes to welcome that unexpected guest!
However, In Eids in Gaza, you don’t have to call someone before you visit him. You MUST expect such sudden visits, simply because “it is Eid”!
Anyway, no one is upset with such a thing, in fact, people in Gaza love exchanging visits during Eids’ days.
The most interesting thing about this is that it may be a long time no see with your relatives, but you see them more than once during only 3 days of Eid!
You may see your aunt at first when you visit her on the first day.
The second time is when you visit your grandmother; she will come to visit her also on the second day!
The third time is when your aunt herself comes to visit you at your home to say “Happy Eid” to your family! Then, you will need a month or two to see her again!!
They are the people who enjoy Eid’s days most. They are bought new clothes, given special pocket of sweets at mosques, and brought along with their parents to relatives’ visits.
They are very pleased with that type of swings which they don’t see at any other time of the year. These swings are spread everywhere, and toys sellers are roaming the streets all the time!
[I bet streets are the most attractive aspect for kids in Eids, well, after chocolate!]
(7) The most important point!
How could I forget to tell you about what is called in Gaza (Edeia)? It is some money males give to their sons, daughters, wives, mothers, and sisters to spread happiness among them. It is not fixed; it depends on their economic situations.
[Thanks God I’m a girl. Girls are lucky at Eids, they take; don’t give :D]
(8) the most popular toys:
When you look at kids playing in the streets, gathering around a toys seller, what do you expect them to buy?
In Gaza, as a rule of thumb, boys buy pistols and guns; girls buy dolls.
What may make boys buy pistols are the same reasons which may make girls buy dolls! Gaza children are different, their life is completely different, and their toys, that are controlled by the exceptional life they live, is also different.
Anyway, this is Gaza, an area of contradictions. This is the land where always a bright side is created amidst many dark sides. This is the Eid in Gaza, and these are the lovely, distinguished, perseverant people of Gaza.
Happy Eid for you all🙂