CAIRO: With only a few days left until the end of Ramadan, it is common to see families scurrying through the shops purchasing holiday sweets ahead of the Eid Al-Fitr festivities.
Age-old traditions persist as families buy their children new clothes to wear during the three-day holiday and pass out the ediya – money given to children by their parents and elders.
This is usually a very busy and festive time of year as Muslims around the world wind down from a month of fasting and abstinence.
The Daily Star Egypt toured Cairo’s streets and talked with Cairenes about their plans for the holidays.
“Eid Al-Fitr is the most important feast for all Muslims. It comes as a present after fasting for the whole month of Ramadan. I worked hard during the last months, and now I have enough money to take a nice vacation in Alexandria. Ahmad Al Sabe, pharmacist
“Actually, I don’t suffer any financial instability leading to the upcoming Eid. Ramadan is my best season. So, I will go to my home village and celebrate with my relatives. Abo Hager, grocer
“In the past, we had little demands so we could enjoy the three days of the Eid. Now, we have a different definition for fun. Fun means a good outing: an expensive dinner and a good concert if there is something nice available. This year I will go to Wust El-Balad band in concert. They are amazing and they make me feel energized enough to continue studying after the Eid. Mostafa Ahmed, student
“Despite the very hard circumstances, I will enjoy Eid with my kids. The month after Eid is usually a disastrous month. This year they will pay us our salaries before the holiday. This means that we should live with the same salary for 40 days not a month. More than a half of this salary will be spent on the three days of Eid. But again, the happiness of the Eid is worth it. Mohammed Fahmy, civil servant
“Actually, I will have a long nap for the three days of holiday. Streets are usually over-crowded and the traffic is unbelievable. I think fun and joy can be postponed for few days when we can avoid the silly traffic. But frankly, I also don’t have enough money to do something special this Eid, especially with what I pay for the private lessons of my kids, one of whom is a high school student. Yasser Abdoul Allah, accountant
“I don’t feel the Eid without giving all my sons and grandsons their ediya. Even if I don’t have enough money and the pension is not enough. I usually withdraw some money from my bank account to be able to continue this tradition. Sometimes I give my grandsons an extra amount of money as an indirect way of helping my sons. I know that life has become so hard. Hajja Mona, retired civil servant
“I feel the tension at home because of the increased requests of my family. Usually there are new clothes, feast cookies and ediya for all the family children. My father suffers a lot actually. But for me it is the exact opposite. I take gifts from all my uncles and aunts and it is a financial nourishment stage for me and all my friends. So, we usually go to expensive places and have amazing hanging outs. Zeinab Mahmoud, university student