I have no doubts that the Eid al-Adha, the Hajj, is a holy occasion for Muslims and an integral part of their rituals. They all understand and know how to celebrate this annual event that means so much to them. Part of the reason for the Eid break is to let the Muslims experience the joy of the holy holiday.
I think of the Eid holiday as a break for peace, love and harmony, away from the normal pressure of life and work, and also as an opportunity for family gathering and spending quality time.
In Kuwait, the Eid holiday seems doubly blessed as it has come alongside a weekend, making it a long and relaxing period for everyone because we do not need to worry about anything except how and where to spend our time with the family. In Kuwait, there are not too many places to go to on such a holiday unless you have a large circle of friends and relatives.
For expatriates who have been living in Kuwait for long, and many of them may have been born as well in Kuwait, they would have the time and a similarly inclined group to hang out with and enjoy every minute of this holiday.
For those who have arrived in Kuwait recently and also for some expats, the Eid is also a chance to explore Kuwait, meet new friends and catch up with reading or follow the upcoming election news about the presidential campaign in the USA. I have also noticed that the Asian Muslims community in Kuwait participates in a lot of activity all year long, including the Eid. Entire families get together on such an occasion and recall the Eid celebrations back home.
I think doing this is something very important and helps overcome any feeling of homesickness that a newcomer may encounter. It is really strange how people can become so sentimental spending holidays, especially days like the Eid or any holy holiday, away from family and friends. It adds to the sense of being alone and away from home.
So, may we treat the religious holidays as days meant to count out blessings that we have in our life.
The gifts we keep receiving thorough our life from our creator, Allah. I do believe the blessings will keep coming all our life if we remain thankful. And although some may think that gifts are all about money in this life, I think they are also about comfort, love, health and peace. That is the true formula for harmony, and no man can ask for more.
(Muna Al-Fuzai is a writer for the Kuwait Times where this article was published on Oct. 25, 2012)