Saturday, October 13, 2007

Eid in Sohar

Here in Oman we decided to be cooler (?) than everybody else and fast one extra day just for the sake of it. Eid was celebrated today Saturday the 13th of October. I've gone back home for the holiday, we are getting a whole week off.

We had the regular program for Eid this year, prayed Eid prayer in the mosque near my grandfathers house, went to his house, had some '3irsiyah' (Arabic dish made up of rice finely mashed served with butter oil and and fine shreds of meat), then went around to greet friends and relatives.

I also went along to greet the Wali of Sohar (Omani term for the mayor of town), who interestingly set up a huge tent in the Fort of Sohar to receive the locals. The habit was that that he received people in one of the rooms of his office opposite the Fort from which many people complained saying that it is as small as a little storage room that got so crowded making people queue to get in. The new temporary tent was large and luxurious, the guards of the Fort played meeters and greeters and all the staff of the Wali Office attended as well. I think that everyone liked it for the space, the view from the fort as you leave the tent, and just the fact that you entered the Fort on Eid. They will probably start having this every single Eid from now on.

I also visited several of my relatives who still lived in little old houses right in front of the beach. You literally have to walk on the sand of the beach to enter one's house. Imagine yourself right on the beach every time you went out of your house, sounds amazing for a life, but I am sure that the people that live there do not find it special at all when they had it for their entire life.

The really sad thing is that many of these people, my grandfather included, will have to evacuate their houses and move to a new place as the Sea Road project will go over their property. It is true that they will be compensated, but the majority of those people lived by the sea in this neighbourhood for their entire life, and their parents before them lived in this same place for their entire lives as well, changing houses is a life changing event for many and money might never be a good enough compensation.


nzm said...

Sounds like you had the best Eid, Blue Chi - with family!

If I had a house on the beach at Sohar, then it would take a lot to get me to move out of there. It would be like paradise to me.

I have a question that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

As Oman celebrated Eid a day later than some of its neighbours, does this mean that the Islamic calendar now runs 1 day behind in Oman when compared to the other countries?

Does it mean that all other notable days to observe within Islam now also run 1 day behind in Oman for the rest of the year?

How does it work?

Blue Chi said...

In theory we are supposed to be falling behind for upcoming events, but because the moon is looked for at the start of every month, we somehow manage to catch up always.

nzm said...

thanks for your response - I've been on vacation for a week and this is the first time that I've had an op to respond.

Does this mean that the Islamic calendar then misses a day? Gone into twilight? :-)

allen said...