Happy Fitr eid!
During the years of siege, I always tried not to let the Eid (feast) pass without preparing for it and living its rituals. Some Eids took place in a severe siege, and others in less severe siege where materials were available.
In the severe siege, I focused more on the activities, so that the children did not feel that there was no Eid. We used to prepare the schedule of implementing our activities such as cleaning the house in preparation for the Eid. I used to ask them to help me clean the house, and during that we sang the Eid songs, or hear them from the mobile phone.
We thought about the visits during the Eid. “Where would we go?” was a matter of consideration as I could not often make visits because every Eid the Regime warplanes start flying from the early morning, as if it was a message that we are not allowed to enjoy the Eid.
I tried my best on the Eids to maintain the tradition of serving the Eid refreshments to my family. I remember that on one of the Eids I served rice pudding with a little sugar, and it was very normal to make sweets with barley or corn flour, knowing that the desserts made from corn flour are not tasty.
The sugar trickle we used was from saccharin. It was harmful and had bitter taste but that what was available. When the Eid comes in summer, the refreshments were from the house fruit tree such as figs.
My mother is good in sewing, and she helped the neighbors in more than one Eid to recycle clothes for their children to make them feel happy. A child was really happy when he stood next to her and saw the stages of making his clothes.
On the second day of one of the Eids, we decided to make a party for children in a school. At that time, we could not distribute invitation cards to children before the party. We did not tell anyone about it for security reasons because bringing large number of children together in one place was a favorite target for the Regime.
We prepared for everything in the school, and then through the mosque minaret we asked the parents to send their children to the school to attend a children’s activity.
One could not imagine the joy of the children, how they ran in the streets in order to reach the school quickly. Our modest party had been preceded by preparing more than one evacuation plan, our eyes were on the sky for fear of bombardment, and many of the activities were carried out in the classrooms not to create much gathering in the yard.
But there was a determination that we wanted to rejoice in spite of everything. On that day, our happiness for what had been done was similar to that of children and maybe more.
During the revolution, we tried to live every Eid rituals as much as possible.
I am looking forward for the Eid when I will live freely, in my homeland, the Eid I love and dream about as I aspire. I have waited for it for more than seven years, and I do not mind being patient until the dream becomes true.
After the displacement, on this Eid, and despite the availability of all delicious kinds of food, I insist to make our traditional sweets that we used to make in my city. I want to work to make Eid cookies at home, because on this feast, we need to live our rituals and maintain our traditions and heritage. Perhaps it is an attempt to convince ourselves that there is still something that connects us with the city we have been forcibly displaced from.
A young woman, 36 years old.
Photo by: Moh Badra / EPA