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Muslims celebrate Ed al-Fitr | CTV News

Beirut –

The Eid al-Fitr holiday marked Friday as a day of prayer and joy for Muslims around the world. Celebrations were marred by tragedy amid escalating conflict in Sudan, but in other countries they were held against a backdrop of hope for a better future.

After the fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr with feasts and family visits. The start of the holiday is traditionally based on new moon sightings that vary by geographical location.

In Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, gunfire rang out early on the day of the feast. The deadly conflict in the vast African country that erupted last week forced many to seek shelter indoors ahead of the holidays, despite civilians running out of water and food. .

In Jerusalem, thousands of believers gathered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. The mosque has faced heightened tensions with Israeli authorities in the last month. The complex also houses Judaism’s most sacred sites.

After the holiday prayers, a jester entertained the children while a woman painted the green, red, black and white Palestinian flag on the little girl’s cheek. We unfurled a banner supporting the group.

The streets of the UAE cities of Damascus, Baghdad and Beirut were crowded with worshipers heading to mosques and cemeteries. visit the grave of Visitors carried bouquets, jugs for plants, and brooms for cleaning gravestones.

“After Eid prayers, we always visit the dead … pray, pay tribute, may God have mercy on them and forgive them on this blessed day,” said Asir Mohammed at the Azamiah Cemetery in Baghdad said.

Islamic holidays follow the lunar calendar. However, some countries rely on astronomical calculations rather than physical sightings. This often leads to disagreements between religious authorities in different countries, sometimes even in the same country, over the start date of Eid al-Fitr.

This year, Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries began their Eid celebrations on Friday, while Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia and others set the first day of the holiday on Saturday.

In Sudan, a week of heavy fighting between the army and rival paramilitary forces embroiled in a violent struggle for control of the country has overshadowed the holiday. died and thousands were injured.

Sudan’s commander-in-chief General Abdel Fattah Burhan set the somber tone of the holiday in his first speech since fighting broke out in a video message released early Friday morning. And the sound of bullets left no place for the happiness that every person in our beloved country deserves,” he said.

A day earlier, the Sudanese military denied talks with a rival militia known as the Rapid Relief Force as both sides continued fighting in central Khartoum and elsewhere in the country, threatening to destroy the international community. , said it would only accept surrender. Attempt to broker a sustainable ceasefire.

Elsewhere in the region, however, recent reconciliations between arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran have ignited hopes for peace.

In Yemen, a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement has raised the prospect of ending a civil war that has escalated into a proxy conflict since 2014, tearing the poor country apart.

Saudi officials and Iran-backed Houthi rebels recently began talks in Yemen’s capital Sanaa. During the final days of Ramadan, warring sides exchanged hundreds of prisoners captured during the conflict.

But a moment of hope flooded in late Wednesday at a charity event in the rebel-held capital, leaving at least 78 people dead and 77 injured.

This year’s Eid al-Fitr follows escalating violence in Israel and Palestine.

Allah Abu Khatab and his only surviving daughter leave the Gaza Strip in Palestine from visiting the grave of his wife and four children killed in Israeli airstrikes on Eid al-Fitr day 2021. I started my vacation with sister and their children.

“They were killed on Eid, so I miss them especially during Eid al-Fitr. I stood by and said, He said the holiday became “a scene of pain and loss.”

In Kabul, Afghanistan, worshipers gather under the watchful eye of Taliban rulers, said 35-year-old Abdul Matin. Unfortunately, people cannot afford all the essentials during this difficult time. ”

More than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria are still mourning the loss of loved ones in the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the two countries on February 6.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conducted a morning Eid prayer on Friday at Hagia Sophia, a 6th-century Byzantine church in Istanbul that was turned into a mosque in the 15th century. It was converted into a mosque years ago.

President Erdogan, who faces elections next month amid an economic crisis and the aftermath of an earthquake, handed out chocolates and pastries to journalists outside the mosque, which was renamed the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque.

In the United States, the celebrations of the Sudanese community were stifled by concerns for their homeland. They still gathered in large numbers at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring for Friday prayers.

Shaza Ahmed, one of an estimated 20,000 Sudanese living in Maryland and Virginia, said, “We are not in the mood for fun, but we are doing[those celebrations]for our children.” I am,” he said.

With state testing underway in Tennessee, Imam Ossama Bahul, a resident scholar at the Islamic Center in Nashville, said his daughter was able to take the exam for the first time by missing holiday prayers with her family. rice field.

In Minneapolis, public school classes on Friday were canceled for the first time to mark the holiday. Jeilani Hussain, director of the Minnesota Council on American-Islamic Relations, said about 10 percent of the students are Muslim.

“In Minneapolis, you can be a Muslim without question,” Hussein said.

In Dearborn, Michigan, employees took Eid al-Fitr as paid leave for the first time. Mayor Abdullah Hammoud said although no precedent had been planned, it was important for Muslim employees to “enjoy the holidays with their families and spend time with them.”

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Associated Press reporters Ali Abdul Hasan of Baghdad, Tia Goldenberg of Jerusalem and Fares Akram of Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Mariam Pham from Cairo and Rahim Faiz from Kabul, Afghanistan. Andrew Wilks from Istanbul, Deepa Bharath from Los Angeles, Giovanna Dell’Orto from Minneapolis and Mike Householder from Detroit contributed to this report.

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