My first “real” Jordanian Eid in half a decade is tomorrow. I finally get to simply walk to the mosque to pray instead of taking a one hour bus trip. But how to celebrate it? How does one fill that big gap that comes right after the Eid prayer? Go out with friends? Stay home all day and welcome guests? Overdose on ma3moul? Take a trip? Dead Sea? Aqaba? Syria? Lebanon? Rent a lot of movies? Rock climbing? What do you do for Eid?
Seems everyone I know is leaving the country for the holidays. But since I just got here there’s really no place for me to go except for a probable obligatory trip down south to Kerak. But I’m sure there’s still plenty to do in the absence of travel plans, right?
Eid tends to come with obligations. Social obligations. Family obligations. People obligations. For members of my anti-social generation, the wanna-be-independent generation, this day can be a shock to the system. Visiting guests, serving them sweets, making polite conversation, all this feels like a drag to our restless souls that want their space. To make matters worse, some if not many of these guests are faces you have no particular desire to see. However the guilty part of me reminds the rest of me that this is Eid and these obligations are part of the spirituality of this particular day and this particular religion.
On the other hand: part of me would love to do something constructive in the name of Eid, Islam and our society. City life has eroded much of the great value this day once carried; we’re all strangers nowadays. All the more reason for me to start myself a new tradition. I dunno: run a small charity to buy presents, food and clothes for orphans on this particular occasion, simply so I could have an excuse to get out of the house to a place where I can see faces light up and have it mean something. No obligation. No chit chat. No polite conversation. No remembering how to serve coffee and be guided around the room towards those faces that must be served first based on an archaic social hierarchy of respect. Just something simple. Something worthwhile. Something Eid. I figure if this is the day of sacrifice and we’re supposed to sacrifice something, it might as well be something worthy. I don’t want to tie up such a spiritual occasion with indoor social rituals. Weighed down by coffee soaked cliches.
Alas, I came to late this year to be able to shift the course of my destiny now. But I do resolve to change the tides by this time next year God willing.
In any case, with the weather as it is let me say quite frankly that the contradiction in me, the depressing winter sloth in me, wants to sleep all day or strictly follow in Abu-Mahjoob’s foot steps…
Eid Mubarak Everyone!!
Eid Mubarak Everyone!!