UAE residents pledge to have a safe Eid Al Fitr amid Covid-19
Residents are determined not to 'undo the good work of their frontline heroes'.
UAE residents are looking forward to celebrating Eid-Al-Fitr on Thursday (May 13), despite the dark shadows of the raging Covid-19 pandemic on the third Eid in a row, and complying with all precautionary norms announced by the authorities to win over the contagion challenge.
The devouts are determined not to “undo the good work of their frontline heroes”.
Though the Covid-19 curve has started to flatten amid an aggressive vaccination drive, the authorities have warned that any kind of irresponsible behaviour such as get-togethers can lead to a surge in new infection and the recovery graph may turn upside down in no time.
Mohammed Al Hasan Khan, an imam at a Dubai mosque, reminded the public to count their blessings of being able to offer the Eid-Al-Fitr prayers in a congregation, despite the viral outbreak.
“Eid prayers will be held once again in congregations in musallahs and mosques after a gap of over 700 days. We should thank Allah for restoring this blessing upon us, and extend our regards to the government and the authorities, who have been working day and night to make this possible. Now, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we respectfully abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs), stay safe and take care of others' safety, and have a joyous and blessed Eid.”
The cleric suggested that Eid gatherings and meetings with relatives need to be conducted virtually.
He added: “Also, with the rise of multiple online platforms, giving Eidiyyah online and sending gifts to your loved ones has become easy. The joy of Eid shall remain intact, only a few adjustments have to be made under the prevailing circumstances. Compliance with rules doesn't mean turning Eid into a dull affair. We need to be more creative to liven the proceedings. May Allah accept from us and from the fast and the good deeds.”
Afroze Sultana Feroze, a Dubai resident, who has a number of relatives living across the UAE, said she was grateful to the authorities because they have ensured that the people get to celebrate a safe Eid with their loved ones. “A safe and happy Eid is our priority at this point of time, not just for our safety but also for the family members who are more susceptible to Covid-19. Though it feels like we’re back to normal life, we cannot deny or forget that we’ve to be responsible and avoid social gatherings. Although we’ve got a lot of relatives and friends across the country, we’ve taken a pledge not to meet anyone this time and instead make video calls to our family and friends in the UAE and also those back home in India.
I’ve also planned to send online gifts to our loved ones. No one is safe unless everyone is safe and the baby steps we take towards these initiatives will make a huge difference,” he said.
Syed Imran Ahmed, another Dubai resident, said, apart from offering congregation prayers at a mosque on the occasion of Eid, he would restrict the festive occasion's activities to a strictly family affair, where his wife and daughter would have the pride of place.
“Our plan is to definitely focus on a safe Eid. We’d like to start our day with a prayer. I’ll be visiting the nearest mosque for Eid prayers. I’d like to ensure that I follow all Covid-19 regulations and safety protocols. We’ve decided to spend the day at home and some quality time with our daughter. No family gatherings have been planned. There’ll be virtual calls with extended family back home in India. It's important to be mindful and follow the Covid-19 regulations while counting the Eid blessings,” he added.
Children discouraged to burn firecrackers
Several parents have vowed that they would ensure that their children steer clear from burning fireworks and instead engage in creative pursuits.
The UAE authorities have urged the public, especially youngsters, to refrain from the use of fireworks and firecrackers to ensure their safety. Traders have also been warned against the illegal dealing and display of fireworks and firecrackers.
Dima Falaknaz, the mother of Maria, Amna, and Hamdan, a Grade VIII, a Grade III, and a foundation stage (FS)-1, pupils, respectively, at Gems Wellington International School, Dubai, said: “There are many dangerous practices in our society and the careless use of fireworks is one of them, especially during holidays and events such as Eid Al-Fitr. While many people set off fireworks during special occasions to express their joy, they often forget the danger such acts entail. Inappropriate use of fireworks can cause injuries, panic attacks, damage to properties as well as noise and environmental pollution.”
She added: “As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure our children are aware of the dangers related to fireworks. We can educate them by showing documentaries or cartoons. The entire community should join hands with the authorities to prevent the careless use of fireworks. As a mother, I’m finding safe alternatives – like magic wand toys that give the same impression as fireworks. I’m also going to take my children to watch official fireworks displays. I’ll make sure to use and provide them with earplugs to avoid any possible panic attacks caused by loud sounds.”
Fatima Nayef Rabbani, the mother of Mohammed, Ahmed, and Alaa, a Grade VIII, VII, and V pupils, respectively, at Gems Al Khaleej National School, Dubai, said: “We know that some children and young people will be using fireworks in a dangerous way on the occasion of Eid-Al-Fitr. I believe parents play a very important role in educating their children about the dangers of fireworks. Families should ensure that they discuss the hazards with their children, pointing out the risks and potential impact as well as how irresponsible use of fireworks has negatively affected people’s lives in the past.”
She added: “We should also emphasise the importance of following government directives regarding fireworks and their use. This Eid, I’m going to be spending quality time with my children and playing alternative entertaining games with them as well as family gatherings on a small scale.”
Fatima El-Gamal Melhem, the mother of Raed, Fares, and Arjee, a Grade II, VI, and VIII pupils, respectively, at Wesgreen International School, Sharjah, said: “We must warn our children against playing with fireworks by explaining the dangers and accidents that may occur, as well as the threat to public safety. We’re still going to create the joy and togetherness of the Eid celebration with a safer alternative. We’re going to enjoy playing group games with all our family members.”
Sarah Khalil Jaafarawi, the mother of Jad and Leah, a kindergarten (KG-2) and Leah FS-1 pupils, respectively, said that time is ripe to educate children on how fireworks might endanger their and others’ lives. “Fireworks can also result in pollution and may cause dangerous fires. Their use should be restricted to specialists who are trained to set them off in designated locations. I’m going to ensure my children are kept safe during this Eid. This year, I pledge to take my children to an amusement park and encourage them to participate in sports and other competitive activities,” she added.
Samer Taha, the father of Masa and Jana, who are in Grade II and IV, respectively, at the same school, added: “There’s always an increase in the use of fireworks during Eid al-Fitr and other public holidays. While setting off fireworks is a way of expressing the joy of the holiday, we’re all responsible as parents and educators to explain the harm that can be caused by fireworks.
He added: “I’m going to be encouraging my children to instead participate in our family gatherings and help us to put up light crescents and lantern decorations. They’ll also be playing video games and participating in science and sports competitions at home.”
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