Friday, September 1, was Eid-al-Fitr (“ the Feast of the Breaking of the fast”), one of the two major feasts in the Muslim calendar. As the name implies, Eid-al-Fitr is the celebration that marks the end of fasting during Ramadan. (“Eid al-Fitr) Since our refugee friends could now eat freely, I packed some chocolates into colorful polka-dotted bags and headed with Denise S., Stephanie, and April to spread some holiday cheer. We saw May*, Shada*, and Naira*.
Eid al-Fitr emphasizes generosity (“Eid al-Fitr”). And our friends certainly were generous with us. They invited us to sit on their pillows, eat their cake, and drink their tea. (Shada insisted I have a pillow. She wasn’t going to let me sit on her floor!) But while the cake and the cushions were cozy, the best gift our friends could give us was the opportunity to share in their lives.
At May’s place, we got to meet her new brother-in-law. He told us about how he and May’s sister moved to Georgia from North Carolina. Meanwhile, the kids pranced around the apartment singing, “We’re going Trick-or-Treating” while stuffing candy into their mouths.
And at Shada’s place, I met her husband for the first time. I learned that he spoke five languages! He told us that Afghanistan’s two main languages, Dari and Pashtun, have different words for “Thank you.” He explained to us that Muslims are so happy during Eid because it comes after the Hajj (special pilgrimage to Mecca), and all their sins have been washed away.
When we arrived at Naira’s place, we found that her house was unsually quiet. That’s because her toddler was sleeping on the couch, passed out as only a toddler who’s partied too much can. Naira is one of the women I mentioned in my March 5th post who gave birth this year. Naira brought her out her baby girl to visit, and I can honestly say that she was one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen, especially in her white dress.
Sharing good times with our friends reminded me of God’s generosity to us. God gives us delicious food to eat. God gives us friends and family whose company we can enjoy. Best of all, God gives us Himself. Because God is so good, we can celebrate every day.
Source: Wikipedia Contributors. “Eid al-Fitir” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Sep. 2017. Web. 15 Sep. 2017
*Names changed to protect privacy