I used to share the cost of making the Ma’moul (Eid Cookies) with my family. For example, I bring flour, my family the sugar, and we make the Ma’moul together at home, and each of us takes his/ her share.
I did not worry about taking the kids to the Eid games because our neighbor had games and swings. These games were not the normal ones we knew, they were made from the empty cases of missiles. He took the iron case, cleaned it, made some changes on it and put the cases together to make a game. It was not comfortable or fully equipped, but it worked and the kids were able to play.
As for the Eid clothes, the ready-made clothes were not that available and were very expensive. I used to buy a piece of cloth, or wool threads if it was winter. There was a tailor whom my wife knew. She tried to imitate the ready-made clothes, or to take things from old clothes to put them on new ones.
The visits and large gatherings in the Eid compensated for the lack of electricity. For example, in the morning we used to visit the relatives and acquaintances, and in the evening we used to stay up with friends. Those meetings compensated a little for the things we lost.
I tried to maintain the Eid basic traditions. One of it is to cook a yogurt dish on the first day, and because we had no electricity this was difficult, as it was not possible to put the yogurt in the fridge. So before Eid, I used to ask a person who had a farm and cows to bring me milk, and we made yogurt at home and cooked it afterwards. This was one of the things I tried to maintain in order to feel the Eid festive atmosphere.
There were habits that I maintained but changed them a little; instead of visiting the cemetery on the Eid, I started to visit the family of my fellow martyr, check on them, and congratulate them on the Eid, as if my friend is still among us.
I did not know what to give the kids as an Eid pocket money, (money given to the children on the Eid) because whatever the amount was, it would buy nothing, because things were expensive or not available at all. We made for them Haytaliyeh at home (a simple kind of desserts made of semolina and water), or any other simple food. They used to sit in front of the house having fun, selling and eating it. It was important to make them forget about deprivation a little bit.
The source of comfort for us in our siege was our gatherings, our memories and our care for each other.
Ammar, 27 years old, married.
The photo: The games that our neighbor made from missiles cases