My Eid | Teen Ink

My Eid

April 20, 2011
By Aya Saneh BRONZE, Beirut, Iowa
Aya Saneh BRONZE, Beirut, Iowa
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

I woke up that morning to the sound of fireworks, so loud they were almost deafening, though the sound was crystal clear. It was the day I had been waiting a month for: EID. I had always thought of this day as some kind of a reward. I also thought that I had earned it. I had fasted a month; from the moment I woke up early in the morning till 8 pm. It was a long time to not eat especially for someone who was just a kid. It was worth it. The next few days would make up for it.

As soon as I had my eyes wide open, I jumped out of my bed and ran over to my sister’s bed to wake her up. “TODAY’S THE DAY, JANA!!!!!!! IT’S FINALY EID!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. Yet she didn’t wake up. “C’MON JANA! WAKE UP AND BE EXCITED WITH ME!” I continued. She woke up and jumped out of bed the way I had. She ran over to my mom, asking her to take out the brand new dress from the closet in her room. My mom said: “Not now, Jana. We don’t have to be at your grandmother’s house till 9:30.” This surprised me. I looked over to the big round clock to see what time it was. We had 3 hours till we had to be there. I couldn’t wait to taste my grandma’s sweet, cheesy Kanafe that she makes every Eid.

A half hour later, I was in a pink dress with matching shoes. I was ready to go, and so were my sister and brother. But, as always, mom was telling us to: “Calm down. Be patient.” It was hard, though. We would see all our cousins, our uncles and aunts. Though we went to my grandma’s house every week and saw them all there, this was going to be special. I could feel it.

By 8:30, we were in the car and jumping in our seats. It was a five minute drive there, and even though my mom said we had to be there early to help her with the Kanafe for 30, I knew very well that she was just as excited as I was. I’m pretty sure everyone was. I could almost taste the sweet top layer, which was my favorite part, it was almost like brown sugar biscuits, but less crumbly. The bottom layer was a lot of soft cheese, soaked in water overnight before baking to get rid of any traces of salt. Not many kids liked it, all my cousins gave that part to their parents.

On the way there, all of our relatives were calling us from my grandma’s house, impatient as ever, knowing that they couldn’t start the celebration until everyone was there. But when we got there some of them were already in the dining room (mostly the kids). Everyone literally ran there, the adults diving into the healthy Tabouli, while the kids just went straight for the Kanafe. There was always some leftover Tabouli, as it was a mixture of veggies, kind of like the regular salad my mom makes every day to go with our lunch, but with more olive oil and lemon juice. It wasn’t the favorite of most little kids I knew. After everyone finished eating, we talked a little, then said our good-byes and welcomed some more distant relatives that we didn’t see any more than twice a year. I had a great time, but I also knew thay there is more to it than just food and fun.

Ramadan is like a month of sacrifice, you give up food for maybe ten hours, and when Eid comes to end it, it doesn’t feel like you where giving up that much. Maybe you were very hungry for the first ten days or so, but afterwards, you get used to it, and it makes you feel thankful that you DO have food in your fridge and in the cabinets in your kitchen, and you have clean water to drink. After a month you can go back to eating every couple hours, but there are some people that can’t. Ramadan is very important to me, to most people, to most religions. Most religions encourage fasting, and that is because afterwards, you will be more thankful for your average daily meals, which I still think are boring. Some people hate the month, especially in summer, when it’s very hot and you get thirsty easily. I cherish it though, and look forward to it all year, because it, in addition to teaching you a few life lessons, also makes you care about others who aren’t as fortunate as you. That makes you appreciate the life you have been given. That is one of the most important lessons you will ever learn, more important than most things you can be taught at school.

The author's comments:
It's a couple months till Ramadan comes again and it's going to be hard to fast in the middle of hot August. I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to me and I decided to write about it. Hope you enjoyed it. I hope people will understand the meaning behind it, because many of the people I know don't.

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