Hargeisa is ready for the Eid-Alfitr

By Ahmed Abdi

The market in Hargeisa is in full swing ready for one of the biggest holiday in Islam, the Eid-Alfitr. With only 10 days to go to the celebration of Eid-Al Fitr, the end of Ramadan holiday, shoppers in and around Hargeisa are flooding to the town filling streets and cloth stores. This time around, Families set their glossaries for the Eid. Street vendors are one of the popular places where people are stopping by to see what they can purchase. Hargeisa is a booming business hub in the horn of Africa offering life to many neighboring countries like Ethiopia where I spent much of my life. Eid marks the end of 30 days long fasting that is observed across the Muslim world. It concludes a month of spiritual connection to Allah. Muslims fast from before sunrise to downtime refraining from all kinds of food, drinks, sexual intercourse and fighting. Ramadan is an important time to wipe out one’s sin and get closer to Allah.

As Ramadaan edges to its end, families in Hargeisa combine their shoppings for the upcoming big day. For most parts in Somalia, every Ramadan ends, families wind off fasting in a good mood like buying clothes, toys and presents for their kids and themselves. Hargeisa is now dealing with a large number of people completing the long list of eid purchases. One could no mistake feel the busyness of the downtown where people are coming in numbers.

Street vendors attracting buyers and pedestrians – photo by me
Hargeisa downtown street vendors – photo by me

Is buying new Eid clothes for children an obligation or option?

For children mainly under 20, Eid means just a little more than a mere fasting, it’s an opportunity for them to have something new and that has to be just a new dress. Yes, it isn’t an obligation to buy your kids for fresh clothes if it’s above one’s purchasing power but to the lowest income family even, it’s a tough time to think about what their children would wear for the day and for that reason many families end up doing everything they can to buy new clothes for their children but it’s obvious that some can’t avoid by any chance. Even grown people feel the eid pressure too. they need to be in the same mood with children to carry the most of what Eid offers to everyone in the family. I remember back in the days, whenever Eid loomed, My full attention was what kind of cloth I would have but I think now, I’m just getting used to it and I don’t actually need that much but I’m sure buying new clothes is on the top of my head now.

What is it like to have your eid in Hargeisa?

This’s my first Eid-Al Fitr in the beautiful city of Hargeisa and I could never be prouder to be celebrating here. last year before I departed to Abaarso school where I’m working now, I had spent Eid-Adha, the second Islamic holiday of the year in Hargeisa but trust me, Nothing feels like the real atmosphere of the Eid after Ramadan and that’s why I’m excited to be here this Eid. Hargeisa is now in the very beginning of the spring season. The spring rain has recently devastated through the town leaving some casualties to the most ordinary people. Hargeisa much like Jigjiga doesn’t have a better sewage and drainage system therefore whenever it rains too much, mass floods wash away cars and people living near the river banks. You can read my last year Jigjiga Eid preparation here

Rescue team monitoring flood site in Hargeisa river- photo by Khalid Foodhaadhi

Is Covid-19 currently having an impact on the people in Hargeisa?

The answer is NO, Hargeisa prepares itself for the Eid and it seems that everyone is getting themselves ready. Even though the second wave of Covid had a devastating impact on the people of Somaliland, the death trend in the country didn’t change people’s perception on the virus. It’s worth remembering that yesterday when I was making my way back to Hargeisa, I was the only one wearing a face mask and people in the car stared at me as if I was different. Somali people in general are so indifferent to the severity of what is now the world’s greatest nightmare.

Eid is now around the corner and millions of people like me are patiently waiting to witness. I paid my visit to the Hargeisa market today and the Eid vibe is so marvelous. As the day awaits Muslims around the world in general and Hargeisa in particular, I wish you all a happy eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating. Till I shoot you to another blog, It’s me Ahmed leaving you with Allah’s care and protection. STAY SAFE AND SOUND!

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