Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Eid!

Phew, what a day, the first day of the Eid holiday. The moon was apparently seen last night so Ramadan is officially over! It's been very exciting and festive around here--much like Christmas. For days the streets of Ramallah have become like a fair with shops in the streets selling gifts and jam-packed with people doing last minute shopping for their families. Kids especially all get new clothes and toys just like Christmas back home. Since last night, the kids in my neighborhood have been setting off fireworks, surprisingly good ones with colors and sparkles.

Today, the boys have been wreaking havoc in the neighborhood with their toy guns they bought with their Eid money. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. Boys here are obssessed with guns and they all look eerily real--AKs, M-4s, handguns. I noticed on the wrapping of one of them..."Use not advised for children under the age of 18. Never shoot at humans or animals." I burst out laughing--they ONLY shoot them at people and animals and the average age of kids playing with them is 7. The gun obssession must have something to do with the occupation culture. An hour ago, there was a knock at the door. Per usual, I yelled out, "Tafaddal!" (Welcome, come in!) No answer. I yelled again, but no answer, so I finally went and opened the door. I jumped at the sight of a red laser beam on my forehead and the blue light of the scope light of the machine gun and a kid in camouflage. "I'm the Israeli army! I got you!", the kid yelled and laughed, who I recognized as my neighbor across the street. Jeez, talk about a near heart attack! See my picture with the culprit...

The girls are much more sedated than the boys and have been all dressed up in their Eid finest. We just got back from being invited over to our neighbors and I was woefully undressed as they were done up in sparkles and high heels and the works. Now my belly is full from all the sweets and tea and fruit.

We have a week vacation from school and I am headed to Amman to visit some friends who work at the US Embassy there as well as some Iraqi friends of mine who will be there for their Eid vacation.

Eid Mubarak to you all and be in touch soon!

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