ABU DHABI — Eid traditions are somewhat different from one nationality to another. Dr Ismail El Fihail has been spending Eid in Abu Dhabi for several decades now, but he still remembers the colourful celebrations in his Sudanese hometown of El Obeid, the capital city of Kurdufan region.
“We have a famous sheikh, Ismail El Wali, who in the morning of the first day of Eid comes from his home, next to the mosque, on a beautifully decorated horse, accompanied by drummers. There is a big parade, with the town’s women, children and men following him while chanting to the prayer grounds,” remembers El Fihail. “On the way home, we stop to visit and greet families and friends and by 10am, we are back home for the special breakfast. We eat traditional Eid food, like Sudanese porridge, special pastries; some people even eat meat. After breakfast, there will be some town celebrations like ‘madinat salahi’, a fun fair or a circus. In the afternoon, we play some sport, usually football, and in the evening we go to the movies. These celebrations will continue for the next two days.”
In Abu Dhabi, El Fihail and his family try to keep as many traditions from back home alive as possible. He goes to prayers in the morning with his sons, then return home for some traditional breakfast — tea with kaak cookies. Afternoon is for visiting family and friends throughout the city.
“For every Eid, we also have some tailor-made traditional Sudanese dresses, but this year we left it a bit late and our tailor was fully booked.” As for the rest of the holidays, he might take his family on a trip to Al Ain or Dubai.