Eid memories

City Times finds out how this end of Ramadan event has changed over the years, for some UAE nationals. From the picturesque old charm of the 1960's to the twinkling city lights of the present, we talk to some of the young and old among..

By Lubna Al Midfa (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Mon 8 Oct 2007, 11:11 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:44 AM

eidthe UAE community, bringing to light their thoughts and feelings on the evolvement of Eid celebrations.

Ibrahim remembers the celebration of Eid in the 1960s with nostalgia. 'I remember my first Eid in the '60's, I was very young and my parents had bought me some new clothes. In the morning I went out to play with my friends in what was a small town where almost everyday you would see members from the community. The smell of Eid waft through the streets.

The city was very small without traffic and paved roads, houses were adjacent to each other and the whole community gathered every Eid under a big tree in Rolla, which is now the Rolla Square in Sharjah. Back then there was only a small playground, where we played on the swings, there were stalls selling snacks and food like Indian sweets, halwa and little snacks like dango (chick peas).

eid1Life was definitely different then, but I think that the joy was savoured a little more perhaps than it is today, especially among the youngsters. Eid today is still joyous but it was definitely more special in the past, than today. We visited every house. There were more emotional stronger family ties than what is existing now.'

Hessa says, 'I remember my first Eid, I was 10-years-old and it was in the 1970s. We used to go and play at the Rolla Square but one thing I remember was that we used to sing songs that at the time were sung in many Arab countries about the unity of the Arabs. We also sang traditional UAE folklore songs.

eid2I was the youngest of my sisters. My elder sisters used to dress in the traditional UAE dresses and gold jewellery. But in my time, we always dressed in modern clothes. There was only one shop in Dubai called Cleopatra which brought clothes from Europe, mostly from Italy.

Aisha says, 'I grew up in the 1980s, I was about 8-years-old and I felt that people were more prepared for Eid than today. Nowadays, there's a lot more emphasis on receiving the eidiya, which is fine but in our time, we didn’t focus much on the eidiya. And when we received it we used to buy stationery, stickers, or dolls, books or movies, because our generation was more interested in learning about different cultures through books. Today it's about buying play station 3 or plasma TV screens. Honestly in our time it was very different and I miss that.

Fatima says, 'Yes, I remember when I was growing up there was one main toy store everyone used to buy from, it was called Dadabuy, which I’m sure many will remember. We used to buy puzzles and dolls. Children today are very lucky because they have many stores to choose from. As children we spent most of the time with our family and at our neighbours' houses instead of the malls, playing with their children.

eid3Khadija says, 'Everyone still enjoys Eid today because it's livelier now, with many events and places to visit. So families today are luckier in that sense. When I was growing up it was a little quieter, but one thing I remember is that in the 1980s we always waited for the Eid movie that would be put on what was then channel 33. I always looked forward to that.

10-year-old Mohammad and his friends say the best thing they like about Eid is visiting friends and family and of course receiving the eidiya. Mohammad says, 'I love Eid because I wear my new clothes and shoes, visit relatives and go to the malls and mostly because I get to buy the things that I want.'

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