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21 September 2009 02:57 pm

Prayers, festivities mark Eid Al Fitr

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Mass prayers, community gatherings, festivities and fire works marked Eid Al Fitr, the end of the fasting month Ramadan, in the country yesterday. Scores of worshippers participated at the special Eid prayers held at selected masjids and public grounds (Eid Gahs) across the country. The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani exchanged greetings with Arab and Muslim leaders. The Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received well-wishers and dignified guest at Al Wajba Palace, QNA reported. Hundreds of worshippers thronged the specially identified 207 masjids by the Ministry of Awqaf to offer prayers during the day break. The nationals and expatriates also converged at different Eid Gahs and masjids to offer prayers early morning. A large number of expatriate worshippers turned up to the prayers conducted specially by their respective embassies. Scores of Indonesia community members joined the prayers held by the Indonesian Embassy at the Language Institute in Salata. In fact, the health authorities’ swine-flu warning did not deter worshippers, at least the older generation, from exchanging “Eid Mubarak” in the traditional way. As the older generation exchanged the greeting by traditional hugging and kissing, the younger generation, especially the Asian expatriate, seemed to be a little cautious. Many of them limited their greetings to shaking hands. “Yes. I’m definitely scared of exchanging pleasantries with hugging after the health officials warning. It is better to limit our Eid greetings to a handshake instead of the usual strong hug or exchange of kisses,” said a young worshipper. A large number of Asian expatriates attended the Eid prayers conducted by Qatar Indian Islahi Centre, in association with Masjid department at Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, at Government Preparatory Boys School Ground near Jaidah Flyover. The organisers said over five thousand believers, including women, attended the mass prayers. Family parks witnessed huge crowd in the evening. Families, with excited children, flocked to the parks and Corniche after the Eid meals. The zoo received a record number of visitors yesterday. Hotels and restaurants offered special Eid spreads. The Souq Waqif was busy with activities in the evening. Traditional Arab concert being hosted by some restaurants drew huge crowd of nationals. The coffee shops remained open until late into night. To cope with the holiday rush, Mowasalat introduced more buses and taxis. The company launched over two dozen buses and several taxis on the Eid day. Some of Doha’s popular shopping malls were closed until 5pm yesterday. The malls, however, witnessed heavy rush when they opened in the evening. http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=September2009&file=Local_News200909212833.xml