Hello fellow readers! On the “About” page, I have written that this blog is a journey that you – that is, my reader – and I will be going on together. For that reason, I write this post as if I am telling it to a friend. After all, this journey should make us good friends, right?
Today’s blog is dedicated to one of my best friends, Hamda. She is currently studying in the States and always tells me how she misses Occupia*. I think I would miss it, too, if I left it. Actually, I would miss it. No doubt there. There is just something about Occupia* that just compells you.
I know that this is a time that Hamda and many of my other friends that have left the country would miss. The day before Eid. Eid Al-adha, which is tomorrow, is a day celebrated by Muslims. It is often said by people like myself, who has experienced Eid in the States, that “it feels more like Eid here.” It does, really, because most of the population in the country is shopping for Eid. Like Christmas time in the States.
Since I have mentioned ‘shopping’ as a holiday ritual and making it “feel more” like Eid here, I’m going to tell you about what goes on the day before eid in Ramallah, anyways.
On my way to Ramallah today, traffic is unbelievable! It has been this way for a whole week now! Cars from every road trying to enter Ramallah. Which brings up a question. Why are there cars trying to enter Ramallah?! Okay, buses and taxis, I understand. Their stops are there. But cars, like my family’s car, for example. Why would I enter Ramallah with it and make the traffic worse?
There are so many people walking the streets! There’s not even enough room to use the sidewalks. Children, women, men, grandma, grandpa. Whole families! I mean, yeah it is the holiday spirit, but it really isn’t when you have people bumping into each other and getting angry at one another and the occasional guy wanting to go after another guy for “accidentally” bumping into his sister. Can anyone say drama? Also, the fact that cars are trying to get through inside of Ramallah is just annoying. You have cars with impatient drivers that keep driving although they see people in the way. Are you serious?
Also, if you’re lucky and have entered Ramallah without getting run over, you’ll see that by Al- Manara Square, where those four lions are, there is some lady asking questions in the middle of the street with about thirty guys around her. Again, this wouldn’t be a problem if Ramallah wasn’t already crowded. These kinds of things don’t need to be done in the middle of the street. There’s a sidewalk. Oh wait, that’s full, too.
And let’s not forget the 100% male population -I’m Arab, I exaggerate- that surround Al- Manara Square. A good percentage of that population literally just stands there, watching the passers- by and hitting on girls. Come on, guys! We just finished hearing what the Prophet, peace be upon him, would do on this holy day.
You enter Ramallah, past Al- Manara Square – even before -, and you see people sitting in Rukab or Baladna Ice Cream eating. You also see the candy stores full of people buying candy for the Eid tomorrow. There are also mini carts – I guess that’s what you call them – selling goodies, clothes, shoes, etc. for cheaper prices than stores. See, cars that want to enter with the many people around is one thing. Cars that want to enter while there are mini carts on both sides of the street is another. Good God.
Well, I don’t want to sound like the grinch who stole Christmas – or Eid, in this case- , but there needs to be some order with this matter. I don’t want to get stepped on or pushed around and have someone ruin my holiday spirit. I just want to walk around in Ramallah during this wonderful day and enjoy it. Without having to get mad at anyone.
Okay, maybe I’m just ranting on about this because I was wearing flipflops and got my toes stepped on.
But what really, REALLY, makes “it feel more like Eid” here, in Occupia* is the fact that Takbeer is heard from the mosques. That is really what makes it more like Eid. Hearing the mosque’s takbeer.
On another bright note, as the takbeer, I have heard about a man from Bosnia named Senad who has walked from December till today to perform the pilgrimage, Hajj, in Mecca. Can you imagine walking for close to a year to perform such a ritual? Amazing. Bravo to Senad!
So anyways, you could get a laugh or two out of this. You could nod your head and say “Yup!” What I’m really asking for is to read between the lines and consider some sort of change with this matter of not having any organization during the holiday season. We could do it together. Maybe next Eid, which is in early August of 2013, my perspective would be different. God knows.
To Muslims around the world, may you all have a blessed Eid with your families and get to experience many more holidays together.