Gaza, for better or for worse
It is no surprise that with all Gaza goes through daily, the economic situation would be destroyed. With most people living under the poverty line, and most employees being paid less than the minimum wage, residents of Gaza find it hard to live anything close to a decent life.
Each year, Muslims in Palestine celebrate two main holidays, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. New clothes, family visits, money gifts, barbecues, and lots and lots of Kaak and Maamoul (Traditional Palestinian cookies filled with dates). With Eid Al Adha being one of the biggest events celebrated by Muslims all over the world, which is believed to mark the sacrifice prophet Ibrahim made upon god’s command, Gazans who can sacrifice start saving up to afford to buy a four-legged animal to sacrifice.
The meat of the animal is then distributed to the poor, friends and neighbors, and finally the family. This practice helps strengthen the ties between the Gazans in the community, everyone is well aware of the struggles that we go through and can feel each other’s pain. Each Gazan knows that there is a possibility their neighbors haven’t tasted meat or had a good meal in a very long time.
Despite the often inhumane financial situation that the Gaza Strip faces, with poverty and unemployment rates increasing, Gazans still know how to have fun and appreciate Eid.
For us, Eid always has to start with wearing new clothes and going to the Eid prayer early in the morning. Then, the men start the tradition of sacrificing the animals while the ladies watch. Once that’s done, women clean and divide the meat into plastic bags and decorate it with stickers so they can send them to friends and family. Once that’s done, the long rides from house to house begin and by the end of the day you’ll have a stomach filled with food and sweets and a heart full of love and joy.