Eid Mubarak!

People are often surprised when they find out about my religious beliefs. And when they do, I usually get bombarded with questions, which sometimes become a bit offensive. However, being offensive is not their intention. It’s just that they lack the understanding and just needs a little enlightenment. Since they have the good notion of asking the questions, might as well answer them to the best that I can.

In my environment, the number of non-Muslims that I personally know even exceeds the number of my family. I even grew up in a private Catholic school at a time when Muslims were a great minority. Some people might think that we were at a great disadvantage because of the numbers. On the contrary, as children, religious discrimination did not exist for us, nor did we care about our differences. We were children who grew up together, became friends, and were taught to respect each other.

We didn’t have social media in elementary school, but now that Facebook exists, I managed to get connected with my former classmates and I am so happy to know that most of them are doing well nowadays. 

The Holy month of Ramadan went by quickly for us, especially now that I have someone to look after during fasting. It was a totally new experience for the both of us and he has been exceptionally good throughout the whole month. Last year, he was whining and complaining, but this year, he was so good, I couldn’t be any prouder. ☺️

Eid’l Fitr is a special day for my family and I. On the year that I was born, I was born on the day of Eid itself. Being first-born, and having such a tight-knit family, instead of being at the mosque for the dawn prayer, everybody was so worried and excited that everyone who knew about my coming was at the hospital, praying for my mom’s safe delivery. Since the normal calendar does not align with the Islamic calendar, I get to celebrate my birthday twice a year. 😆

Today, I was exceptionally sleepy. I called my mom and had a short chat with her then took a nap. After waking, we watched a couple of episodes then I took another nap. Since it was a holiday and my birthday at that, there was no way that we were not going out. Although, I did feel like staying in for the rest of the day.

We went to the Katara Cultural Village for a walk, some sightseeing and food. We knew that there was going to be plenty of families, but we did not know that there were going to be any events. There was a big stage with a lot of seating, segregated for families, women and men. We didn’t stick around the events area, but there was an announcement about gift-giving.

The kids were lining up on both sides of the stage, while the organizers had the gifts piled up. It’s traditional during this time of the year to give gifts to the children, those who help us in the household and the less fortunate. Back home, our neighborhood kids would line up and my dad would give them 20 pesos each. We found a restaurant to eat at, and finally had some dinner.

It was an Armenian-Lebanese restaurant with a small fountain right in front of its building entrance, and since we chose to be seated outside, we got seated in front of the fountain and by the front yard. A couple of kids were chasing each other around the lamp post, laughing at each other.

After having dinner, we were just chatting when the fireworks show started. The popping was so loud that a baby started wailing until the fireworks died out. We definitely had no idea that there was going to be a show. It even lasted for a good ten minutes.

Happy birthday to me 🎇🎆 . . . . . . . . #katara #kataraculturalvillage #Doha #Qatar #fireworks #EidMubarak

A post shared by Wilhelmina Sarawi-Paradero (@wsarawi) on

And that was how our Eid went.

Thanks again for reading this far. 😘

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