The Islamic month of fasting known as Ramadan ended last week and was replaced by Eid al-Fitr, a holiday that marks the end of it all. Eid al-Fitr is taken seriously in the Sunni Muslim World, it is almost equivalent to the Christian take on the Christmas holiday (Meaning very important). The celebrations extend over a few days, where new clothes are bought, people have long vacations, and many of the other typical things people do during a religious holiday.
I found myself saying “Eid Mubarak” and being corrected; It literally means blessed eid. Instead I was instructed to say “Eid Saeed,” which means happy eid. I was not making a mistake actually, it was the Egyptians making an attempt to be politically correct in every matter. Basically, since President Husni Mubarak’s last name is also part of a common greeting, they have replaced the common
“Mubarak” with “Saeed”. Silly, but it seems to make a difference to them and leave them equally content.
Eid Mubarak = Blessed Eid
Eid Saeed = Happy Eid
To me = SAME
Exploring the streets of Cairo during eid was an interesting experience, given most of the people were out of town. Traffic was less which is a surprise since the capital is notorious for its traffic jams. Being from Los Angeles, traffic doesn’t phase me especially since I’m not the driver here. In Zamalek, one of the trendier hangouts, I found a carriage carried by a horse with Arabic music on blast and several passengers waving the Libyan NTC flag. The scene caught me off guard. As I strolled through Zamalek, I found graffiti on various walls saying, “Libya” and “Libya is Free” in Arabic (Political graffiti has become a novelty since the revolution). Either there are a lot of Libyans living in Egypt or people are passionate about the revolution taking place next door to their homeland.
Mubarak, I mean Eid Saeed!