UAE Press: In a changing world, the values of Eid Al Fitr stay the same

UAE Press: In a changing world, the values of Eid Al Fitr stay the same

ABU DHABI, 21st April, 2023 (WAM) -- Every Eid Al Fitr is different but some things remain the same, a UAE newspaper affirmed today, noting that over a billion Muslims emerge from a month of fasting to “celebrate with family and friends, and look forward to the coming year renewed by weeks of prayer and spiritual contemplation”.

“Ramadan this year has been a special one, with much to celebrate for the UAE. Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi observed the holy month in space, far from his family and country, but always in the thoughts of a nation that feels a deep sense of pride in his achievement,” said The National in an editorial on Friday, the first day of Eid Al Fitr in 2023.

On the UAE's Ramadan humanitarian initiatives, the editorial comment spotlighted the One Billion Meals campaign, the UAE's Ramadan food drive which raised more than AED1 billion (US$27.2 million) to help fight global hunger, describing it as a “milestone was the culmination of the hard work and generosity that has been the mainstay of the campaign since it began, helping to give expression to the charitable nature of the holy month”.

“Another record was set during Ramadan this year when more than 60,000 Muslims gathered at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on the night of the 27th day of the holy month to observe Laylat Al Qadr, a significant night in the Islamic faith," the newspaper went on note. “And, in contrast to years gone by, the spectre of COVID-19 has receded sufficiently to allow communal prayers, family visits and group iftars to take place without restrictions. This social aspect of Ramadan cannot be overlooked and millions of Muslims will be happy that the disease — although not eradicated — no longer disrupts Eid celebrations.”

Sadly however, for many more Muslims around the world this Eid will be one characterised by struggle, the Abu Dhabi-based daily said, the earthquakes that killed tens of thousands in Türkiye and Syria have left many families bereft. Eid celebrations in the areas affected by the disaster will be tinged with sadness at the absence of loved ones and apprehension at an uncertain future, it added.

The editorial continued, highlighting how Ramadan gave Muslim communities in other parts of the world the opportunity to share more about their faith. "This week, the UAE embassy in Paris hosted an interfaith iftar to mark the inauguration of the Abrahamic Family House, a project in Abu Dhabi that celebrates the common heritage of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. In London, the British capital’s historic Trafalgar Square will host a family-friendly Eid even that is open to all — an important reflection of the city’s diversity.”

“It is a fact that tragedy and hardship will always be with us. But so are the religious and ethical principles that inform Ramadan and which motivate people to share, donate and care for one another. Eid is a time for celebration, for family, for remembering those worse off than ourselves. This year, although much in the world has changed, those valuable principles remain the same,” the National said, in conclusion.