Beggar Abu Jassim did not expect that he would get a huge Eid Al-Adha gift from an unidentified man while standing in Baqouba market in western Iraq.
“The envelope had $64.50, I could not believe my eyes!It crushed my fears from being unable to provide bread for my family,” he said.
For Abu Jassim, who described the Eid gift as the biggest he ever received in his life, said an elderly man in a modern black car handed him an envelope containing cash and apologized for the delay.
Another beggar, Um Adnan, said she knew 10 ten beggars who received such Eid gifts. “Many beggars at Baqouba market were shocked because this was unprecedented.”
At first Um Adnan was skeptical if the cash was real, but her doubts were cleared when she purchased candy for her family.
A resident from Diayala, Baha al-Shamry admired the anonymous man’s generosity saying “it is something we are proud of.”
Cleric Hatem al-Lahey also hailed many rich and affluent individuals in Baqouba who help the poor in secret and not publicly for the sake of modesty.
In 2005, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs implemented a program providing monthly $43-$77 subsidies to widows, orphans, divorcees, and other needy people.
Despite the social protection program, human rights organizations in the Diyala said increased poverty inflated the number of beggars in the province.
Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid on Friday. The four-day Muslim holiday marks the end of the annual hajj, when millions of pilgrims make the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Sheep, goats and cows are slaughtered to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God’s command.
Muslims also take the opportunity to give out money to the young, poor, and needy.