Rahma Ada Alli smiled Monday morning as she watched neighbors in Ouarzazate’s Hay Essalam neighborhood greet each other as they celebrated Eid Alfitr, the holiday which marks the end of Ramadan.
But Ada Alli, 76, has a hole in her heart because she misses her husband who died last year during Ramadan.
Monday was her second Fitr without him.
“Ramadan was a really hard experience because I miss my husband being around,” she said.
Eid Alfitr is a holiday for Muslims to celebrate their fasting and the sacrifices they made to Allah during the 30 days of Ramadan. While the day is filled with joy, there are moments of sadness as families reflect on the loved ones they lost in the last year.
Ada Alli celebrated the day with her neighbors and children. Family and friends help ease the pain, she said.
In Ouarzazate’s neighborhoods, children dressed up in new clothes. Families gathered at 7:30 a.m. at the Mosalla in their neighborhoods to pray. Later, they visited each others’ homes to socialize over breakfast, lunch and tea.
For Mariam Kassim, 35, the day is a chance to meet all her family members in one place.
” I wait all year for this special cozy atmosphere,’’ she said.
Eid Alfitr symbolizes community spirit and togetherness. Some people adopt orphans and poor people for the holiday because they have no family.
Ounaire Ahmed, 62, said the day is an opportunity to share with people who are alone.
“It’s impossible to enjoy Al Eid when your neighbors live alone or don’t have anything,” he said.
Children love the holiday because they get new clothes and presents from their parents and family members for fasting.
Typically, fasting is required for people 12 and older.
Asmae, 7, fasted for seven days. She said she liked Ramadan because she gets to learn good manners.
Hicham Baiddi, 24, gave up smoking for Ramadan, and he vows never to smoke again. He was a smoking addict for five years. He tried to give up the habit a year ago, but he failed. He’s hoping to develop more self control this time.
” Ramadan is the time for spiritual healing and self cleaning,” he said
The holiday was also bittersweet for Madyi Khadoj, 45. She lost her 28-year-old son in a motorcycle accident last year.
” It’s not easy for us to smile while our hearts are sad,” she said.
By Laila Ait Oujamaa