Posted on August 01, 2014

People from a locality in Qatar used to gather at one place and go for Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha prayers together in an environment of communal bonhomie in the days gone by. Things have changed drastically since, as people are prosperous now and almost everyone has a car, so assembling at a point and taking a walk is out of fashion now.

Elders in the Qatari community are trying hard to help preserve traditions and make sure that younger people follow some customs on Eid days like visiting neighbours and relatives, but in vain. “Many changes have taken place in our society as time has passed,” says Mohamed Al Janahi, a Qatari, reminiscing how certain traditions that were followed on occasions like Eid have vanished.

Al Janahi told the local Arabic daily Al Watan in comments published yesterday how people from a neighbourhood used to assemble at a place on Eid day early in the morning to walk together for prayers. Then, people used to wait for the prayers to end so they would gather at a place again and make a group and walk back to their neighbourhoods, he said. “And at our homes, we would make special Qatari cuisines to mark Eid.”

People would have lunch and then visit their neighbours, relatives and friends. Not anymore. “Now, when I visit a home on Eid, I find people sleeping. They are surprised looking at me and say they were expecting visitors at night,” said Khadija Al Ajman, a Qatari woman. Dr Hassan Abu Neda, a Qatari sociologist has a different viewpoint and said he did not see changes taking place in this modern era as unprecedented.  

He told the daily how modern communications technology had made things “easier” for people. “People don’t need to send greeting cards to relatives and friends anymore by post on occasions like Eid, as they did before. Now they send SMSs and texts using ‘whatsapp’ and make phone calls,” Abu Neda said, citing an example. 

Qatar Airways HQ 300x250

Prominent sociologist, Dr Batool Khalifa, said how modern communications technology had brought those people nearer you who were distant and turned those away from you who were nearer you. “SMSs and phone calls can ever be a substitute to courtesy calls used to be made by people to their relatives and friends,” said Khalifa. She said what is needed is training for youngsters and impressing upon them the fact that they must occasionally visit their relatives and friends.

Katara and Aspire Zone restaurants will also donate their earnings on that day for Palestinians in Gaza. The festival’s events will start at 9pm and end at 11pm and will be organised in collaboration with Qatar Red Crescent (QRC), Qatar TV, Al Rayyan TV and Qmedia. Katara said revenues from the festival will be donated to people in Gaza who are facing a humanitarian disaster. Donations can be made via phone, text message, online and through QRC. 

People can donate through www.qrcs.org.qa or by sending the message (Qatar) to 92766. Donations can also be delivered to QRC’s offices in Old Salata and the Corniche, its branch in Al Khor (Tel: 44027883), its women’s branch in Nuaija near Al Obaidary Roundabout (Tel: 44027862), or by calling 66666364. QRC representatives will be present to receive donations in shopping centres such as City Centre, Landmark, Villaggio, Hyatt Plaza, The Mall and Al Meera branches, and at Al Amal Hospital.

Donations can also be made to account number 6010-164614-001 or IBAN QA02CBQA000000006010164614001. On July 24 and 25, Katara and Aspire Zone restaurants launched a campaign in solidarity with the people of Gaza and donated sales revenues to provide relief to those affected by Israeli attacks on the enclave.

source: The Peninsula

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