Every year our lives change drastically yet gradually through the holy month of Ramadan. As the blessed, celebratory day of Eid al-Fitr swiftly approaches our doorsteps, I dwell upon the same time last year, the testing we’ve been through and, Alhamdulilah, many of us surpassed.
Eid is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of 29 or 30 days of fasting through the month of Ramadan. This is a day where Muslims around the world show a common goal of unity. It is a day of recognizance of Allah (SWT). As Muslim Libyans, both last year’s Ramadan and Eid were ones with unforgettable experiences, memorable times and bittersweet memories. Even though we, as a nation, went through the roughest of times and circumstances during Ramadan, I think it is safe to say that Eid 2011 had surely balanced things out.
Children are out on a hunt for the perfect new clothes to wear this Eid, their parents are making sure they have just enough sweets and chocolates for the big day.
This year not only will we be celebrating the end of Ramadan but also the historical day of the liberation of Libya’s beloved capital, Tripoli. August 20th 2012 marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Operation Mermaid Dawn and will also very likely be marking the day of Eid and end of Ramadan 2012. In most Islamic communities, it is not just the day of Eid in which we celebrate. The atmosphere is generally more overwhelmingly exciting and busy as we prepare ourselves for this special celebration throughout the last week of Ramadan.
The streets are usually filled till dawn with families and friends enjoying what’s left of this blessed month. While the children are out on a hunt for the perfect new clothes to wear this Eid, their parents are making sure they have just enough sweets and chocolates for the big day, but last year was completely different. Despite all of the excitement based on the years that had passed it was surely nothing in comparison to our first ever Eid prayers in Martyrs square in our tyrant-free capital, Tripoli.
Regardless of the extraordinary levels of heat on that very day the levels of rejoice through the streets continued to rise as the moments passed. Due to years of traditional and cultural upbringing I believe last year’s Eid was executed the way Eid actually should be. There is no denying the fact that the reasons we now look forward to Eid are not necessarily the same reasons we’re supposed to. Personally, it took me until Eid Prayers under the sun, with my fellow Libyans to realize that we had been celebrating this day for the past years for all the wrong reasons.
Nowadays when we hear of Eid we all genuinely think of gifts and money. And although it is about happiness and giving, it took the millions of tears of joy that I saw that day to remind me of the true reason. Here, in Libya, most families celebrate Eid in the same way. We go door to door to our neighbors, families and friends wishing them a blessed day. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated once a year after a month of fasting to enhance our show of gratitude to Allah (SWT) and help us remember him. In spite of the fact that we were not physically prepared for it last year, with all the ‘new’ clothes, we surely got the correct meaning and understanding of Eid. We were beyond grateful to celebrate the rebirth of our country.
Here, in Libya, most families celebrate Eid in the same way. We go door to door to our neighbours, families and friends wishing them a blessed day.
Considering the hardships we went through between a revolution and Ramadan with power outages, and lack of both fuel and all kinds of foods you would think that Eid would have lost its ‘spark’ of excitement, but it surely didn’t. With thanks to how un-materialized our Eid was we got the chance to actually enjoy it, and appreciate what we had more than ever.
Looking back to last year and acknowledging everything we came across and overcome as a country I begin to have hope for a brighter future in Libya. The thought of having successful, nationwide elections less than a year after the fall of one of the words largest tyrants is enough to refresh all memories and emotions that came along with the revolution of February 17th.