Fahd Hammoud al Rashidi, a reinsurance specialist at Oman United Insurance Company, this year celebrated Eid al Adha without his whole family this year. “There was a unique flavour to our celebrations that was different from all the past years, away from the family atmosphere that I really missed,” he says.
Eid, he says, is a community celebration that begins at home, with the entire family assembling to greet each other and share pleasantries. If that element is missing, the celebrations cannot really spread out to the community. But, people in Oman had to embrace this new order and restrict their celebrations within their own homes to obey orders of the authorities and maintain their own safety.
While families already residing together in the interior and in villages could celebrate among many family members, nuclear families in cities, especially in Muscat, had no option but to stay home and avoid contact, even with friends. And small families like that of Rashidi had not option but to fine tune their celebrations among young parents and children.
“The holiday came this time in the midst of this pandemic that controls every human and economic movement, in addition to the total closure of the governorates and the curfew imposed by the Supreme Committee in the evening hours, says Rashidi, adding, “It came to be completely different from my past years, and for the first time I spent the Eid holiday in Muscat, away from the family atmosphere and the usual Eid activities.”
Rashidi admits that it was difficult, but important, to think about the safety of his nuclear family as well as the safety of every member in his extended family. On the other hand, it was simply incredible to note how this virus can control the decisions as humans, he observed.
“My wife and I decided to create a different atmosphere this time, so that Eid would be different due to circumstances imposed on us. So, we woke up very early and put on our Eid clothes. And while we listened to the radio and the Eid greetings, we also did not forget our Eid sweets. We laid out a decorated table for our celebration, to feel the usual joy of Eid, and we prepared the usual traditional lunch which we called A’arsi,” he explained.
For the small family of Rashidi, this year brought forth an aspect that was very different from all the past years, away from bubbly family atmosphere, and devoid of the noise and sharing by those belonging to different generations who meet just once a year at Eid.
He greeted his family members via Zoom calls, as that seemed to be the best solution to see people while greeting them this year. He also did the same with friends and colleagues to maintain the goodwill and warmth in the community surrounding Eid.
Rashidi, who works for three days
I hope that peace will prevail in every corner of this world and that we come again singing for the beautiful life we are used to.
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