Friday, 2 September 2011

Coz this is how it went down...

Almost 2 Billion Muslims worldwide celebrated Eid at some point in the last few days. Eid celebrations vary culturally from region to region, but the common thread is kindness, generosity and hospitality, even to complete strangers. The day starts off quite early with a sermon and prayers to thank The Almighty for bestowing us with the month of Ramadan. What usually follows are greetings and well wishes to all and sundry and a day long feast. In most Muslim countries, festivities go on between 3 to 7 days.

SOUTH AFRICA - Muslim population: 1 million
Men gather at the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town to sight the moon.
Kwa-Zulu Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize joins the early morning prayers in Verulam in support and solidarity with muslims in the region celebrating Eid.

BRAZIL - Muslim population: 200 thousand
People celebrate in Foz do IguaƧu.

SYRIA - Muslim population: 20.5 million
Men prepare Baklava and other treats for the Eid feast.

THAILAND - Muslim population: 4 million
Women prepare food for the special day.

RUSSIA - Muslim population: 20 million
Over 500 000 people in Moscow attended early morning Eid prayers.

MEXICO - Muslim population: 110 thousand
People celebrated in Mexico City.

AFGHANISTAN - Muslim population: 28 million
Police patrol while people gathered at one of Kabul's mosques.

BULGARIA - Muslim population: 2 million
Men attended the mosque at dawn for early morning prayers.

FRANCE - Muslim population: 4.5 million
France is home to 10% of the total European Muslim population of approximately 45 million people. Men and women attended the Eid-gah in Paris.

NEPAL - Muslim population: 1.5 million
Revellers release balloons in Kathmandu.

USA - Muslim population: 7 million
Around 15 000 people attended the Eid-gah in Bridgeview, Illinois.
Women gathered for prayer in Staten Island, New York.
Samantha Sarwono and her kids pray at the LA convention centre.
People greet each other in San Diego, California.

PHILLIPINES - Muslim population: 5 million
People prostrate in prayer in the country's capital, Manila.

LIBYA - Muslim population: 6.5 million
Celebrating their victory over Gaddafi, millions of Libyans prostrate in submission to The Almighty.
Children make their way to one of the country's idyllic beaches.

SAUDI ARABIA - Muslim population: 25 million
Millions descend to the Kabbah at dawn for the Eid-gah.

CHINA - Muslim population: 50 million
A man takes a photo in the mosque in Beijing.

BOSNIA - Muslim population: 1.5 million
Men greet each other in the street.

EGYPT - Muslim population: 78.5 million
Hundreds of thousands of people in Cairo prostrate in prayer.
Children play in Tahrir Square while guards look on.

GREECE - Muslim population: 350 thousand
Boy stands while men pray in Athens.

INDONESIA - Muslim population: 203 million
Women pray in Jakarta.

KOSOVO - Muslim population: 2 million
Men and women pray at the Eid-gah.

PAKISTAN - Muslim population: 175 million
Girl displays her (still wet) henna design in Karachi.

CANADA - Muslim population: 700 thousand
Boy looks on as men pray at Toronto's Metro Convention Centre.

INDIA - Muslim population: 161 million
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan greets fans ahead of his Eid celebrations.
Women stand in prayer in Srinagar, Kashmir.

BANGLADESH - Muslim population: 145 million
Passengers sit on top of a crowded train in Jamalpur in a rush to get home for festivities.

ALBANIA - Muslim population: 2.5 million
Women attend the Eid-gah.

IRAN - Muslim population: 74 million
The Shi'ite/Shia majority celebrated on Wednesday. Iranian villagers gathered and clapped as a groom and his bride danced at a traditional wedding during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Talesh. It's a popular time to get married.
An Iranian woman walks into the Imamzadeh Helal-ebne Ali Shrine in Kashan City, south of Tehran.

ITALY - Muslim population: 825 thousand
People gathered in Palermo for the Eid-gah prayer.
More than 30 000 were expected to descend on Europe's biggest Mosque in Rome after authorities banned prayers in other areas. Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno visited the mosque and the people.

LEBANON - Muslim population: 3 million
Mother and children enjoy theme park rides in Beirut.

SURINAM - Muslim population: 100 thousand
People celebrate in Wanica by dancing and beating on their drums.

PALESTINE - Muslim population: 5.5 million
Men, women and children greet each other outside The Dome of the Rock on the grounds of Masjid-ul-Aqsa.

ROMANIA - Muslim population: 70 thousand
Women show their hands decorated with henna in Bucharest.

All images found all over the internet courtesy Associated Press, Zimbio, Getty Images, UPI, Reuters etc. etc. All population statistics are estimates and not the exact figures.


  1. "kindness, generosity and hospitality, even to complete strangers."

    These are visible every single night of the year during the candlelight procession around the sanctuary of Lourdes in France. I've witnessed it several times and it's made me wish for a better humanity. But it's never made me want to become a Catholic. Or even a Christian. Perhaps because I used to be both and realised you don't need to have a religion to demonstrate these qualities.

  2. The Mexican Muslims seem to be having the most fun - they seem to be as full of beans as the host population. Did I see a pair of stiletto heels in France?

  3. How fascinating to see how people all over the world celebrate!

  4. It really is amazing to see such communion!

  5. Beautiful pictures!
    Hope you had an excellent Eid && I hope you didn't eat TOOOO much :P

    Take care!

  6. It's so awesome to see all the different people celebrating one thing __________EID.

  7. Colin - I agree that good qualities don't come from religion, but I also believe that without some kind of spirituality, the soul is forever empty seeking fulfillment from other frivolous fleeting things :)

    GB - Yes, the Mexicans sure do look like they're having a great time. Muslims wear stilettos too Mr. GB. I own a good few pairs myself. And the French love their fashion... so I'm sure there were several pairs of stilettos there :)

    Diedre - I love seeing how other people celebrate, it reminds me that my world is not confined to my immediate surroundings ;)

    Angie - I'm sure that's the same way many people feel around Christmas :)

    Nas - I hope your Eid was great too... I need to hit the gym ;P

    Izdiher - It is awesome indeed :)

  8. Oh wow. This was such a breathtaking and beautiful post, Azra. Thank you for sharing this, I was struck by all of the facts and wonderful images, they brought a smile to my face. :)

  9. P.S. I especially loved the photos from Syria, the LA Convention Center, and Libya.

  10. Beautiful :) didnt know russia had so many muslims

  11. Michi - Glad you liked it. We live in a world where it is easy to live in a shell and not be conscious or aware of others. I love to be constantly aware and I love to see how people are more alike then they are different. :)
    PS. I must admit I was looking more at the men then at the Baklava in the Syrian pic hahaha!

    Nadia - It's amazing how much we can learn just by observing other people and cultures. Only a few years ago I found out that there are that many muslims in China. It's always good to know :)

  12. Thank you ... this was really beautiful.

  13. hiii ... Nice Post ..

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