An inside scoop on the remote Eid 2021 celebrations from the Muslim students of AHS
Eid-ul-Fitr is arguably the holiest day for Muslims all around the world. It marks the end of the month of Ramadan, which is also a holy month for Muslims as they fast from dawn till dusk to get closer to God. Eid usually starts off with an early morning prayer in the congregation. This prayer is then followed by visiting friends and family as well as exchanging food and gifts throughout the day. That is the usual tradition; however, due to COVID, the situation has been adopted for most families. We take a look at how these students have adapted to the “New Eid,” not only with Covid but with having Eid in the middle of the school year.
Muslim student/Eid celebrator Mohammed Kareem (9) depicts his experience of Eid as, “A day to catch up with both family and friends. We usually do this throughout the whole day. We spend the day going house to house, exchanging food and gifts with each other. An overall description of Eid would be ‘a day of love and celebration with practically everyone.’ A lot of the time, even my friends from school who are not Muslim come to celebrate with me. Anyone can celebrate and have a good time!”
Unfortunately, much of the celebration was cut short this year due to the presence of the pandemic. The pandemic prohibits large gatherings, especially if it is indoors. Due to these adaptations, it is likely that the Eid experience was way different this year. Many people like Kareem have out-of-state families that could not make it due to the pandemic. Even though most of his family is vaccinated, he still sees the pandemic as a “risk” for older family members.
Kareem goes on to say, “Yes, Eid this year was definitely very different. To say it was the same vibe or experience as other years would definitely not be true. I’m not saying it was bad, because I’m still super grateful that I was able to celebrate and even have an Eid, because there are people who don’t even have that privilege. ”
The usual food exchanged during Eid depends on one’s culture.
Kareem’s family is of Pakistani origin, so they usually indulge in traditional Desi/Pakistani foods like biryani, chicken tandoori, and naan. Gifts also differ from family to family, but Kareem usually gets a gift card along with the rest of his family.
Likewise, Safa Mohammed (10), anotherMuslim student at AHS, discusses her opposing version of Eid this year.“My Eid was actually pretty similar to those of normal years. Normally, my family just celebrates amongst ourselves, and we just continued that. Nothing really changed, and all the celebrations pretty much remained the same. The only thing would be that last year Eid happened during spring break, but this year I had to get excused from school.”
Mohammed also adds that “My favorite thing about Eid would be connecting with family. I know I know, we’re all at home together, but we never really connect. This is mainly because my sister and I are busy with school, and my parents work from home. Eid just kind of gave us the much-needed family time.”
Additionally, Farha Sheikh (11), another Muslim student/proud Eid celebrator, discusses her Eid 2021 celebration. Like Mohammed, her experience did not change much, even due to COVID.
According to Sheikh, “M[y] family made it work even due to the pandemic, in a super safe and organized way. We had under 25 people, all fully vaccinated, and outdoors, and everyone fully masked up. I think that’s pretty impressive, and the event went super well as always. Just with a few fun additions this year, ‘cause of the pandemic.
All in all, Eid 2021 may have been different for some, even weird, but these students did not fail to have an amazing time, even during the pandemic.