As Ramadan draws to a close, Muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr directly translated as “the festival of breaking the fast”. Eid celebrations begin with prayers at dawn, which usually take place at a mosque, although lockdown restrictions may impact the number of people allowed in a place of worship.
At the beginning of Ramadan, we interviewed a few of our employees around the world and asked them what Ramadan means to them - we caught up with Farah Ahmed, Ridzuan Aziz, Ruzan Ahamed and Magda Ali on how they’re celebrating Eid this year.
Here’s how Eid looks for our people this year:
Farah Ahmed, Content Strategist based in London, UK says on the month of Ramadan:
(Farah pictured above)
“Ramadan has been extremely hard during the third UK lockdown which has meant no face to face interaction with family and friends during Iftar. Traditionally, the night before Eid is usually spent applying henna to my daughters hands.
The easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK means that I will be able to celebrate Eid outdoors in the garden with family in London.”
(Pictured above: Henna done by a professional artist on Farah’s daughters hands)
(Ridzuan pictured above)
Ridzuan Aziz, Country Director of Malaysia & Head of South East Asia, says:
“Reflecting on Ramadan this year, it's another Ramadan under the new normal. Here in Malaysia, the lockdown eased at the start of this holy month. That allowed us to visit the mosque, family and friends albeit with strict guidelines.
However, as the 3rd wave of the pandemic hit again in the last days of Ramadan, we are compelled to be under a nationwide lockdown for the 3rd time. The spirit of Ramadan just abruptly ended for us".
On celebrating Eid:
"We will celebrate Eid differently - at home only, via several video chats, and exchanging foods within the neighbourhood. It's different but the festive mood is in the air and we'll make the best of it. The current circumstances have made us appreciate what we have and cherish our loved ones even more. As we say in Malaysia - Selamat Hari Raya Aidulfitri - which means 'Happy Eid to all'."
Ruzan Ahamed, Country Director, South Asia, says on Ramadan and Eid:
“Ramadan this year was very challenging. This is the first time in my life I have been away from family and been living in a different country during Ramadan. I’ve missed my family so much during Iftar times. I tried new dishes like “Haleem” which was interesting as well.
(Pictured above: Ruzan’s cake from Eid last year)
“This year, a lockdown has been imposed meaning the Eid prayers will have to be performed at home. Therefore, we are trying our best to make it as exciting as possible by connecting with family back home.
Magda Ali, Senior Compliance Analyst, based in Sydney says:
“Ramadan has been different this year as we haven’t been in a lockdown here in Sydney and restrictions have been eased meaning I could gather with my family and friends either at my home in Sydney or at their homes to break our fast.
Due to closed borders, I couldn’t visit my parents, brothers and sisters in Egypt, however, we shared photos and videos of our Iftar large feast.”
(Pictured above: Magda setting up for the feast)
Magda says on what Eid means to her:
“Eid marks a time of family and friends’ gatherings and merry-making. It involves cooking and eating kahk which is the most common food associated with the celebration, which are nut filled cookies covered in powdered sugar. This Saturday, we are invited to celebrate Eid with another 4 families to enjoy a BBQ and kahk.
(Pictured above: ‘Kahk’ - Eid cookies)
More images from Magda Ali
If you want to see how WorldRemit is helping those stay connected over during this period, check out our external blog featuring artwork by Muslim artist, Natasha Ahmed or head over to British Muslim Magazine: ‘WorldRemit teams up with Muslim artist Natasha Ahmed’