By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
Thousands of Qatar inhabitants, including both locals and expatriates, turned up for Eid al-Adha prayers across the country early morning.
The occasion was marked by piety, camaraderie and joy, as worshippers from different walks of life and backgrounds gathered at more than 300 designated mosques and prayer yards.
As the prayers concluded, people shook hands and embraced each other, exchanging greetings on the auspicious occasion. “The spirit of Eid has brought us together, irrespective of where we come from and what we do,” said a resident after attending the prayers.
In fact, a festive mood had prevailed in the country from the eve of Eid as the faithful prepared to attend the prayers and take part in the celebrations along with friends and family.
After the Eid prayers, some people returned home to make preparations for receiving guests and relatives, while many headed for abattoirs to get their sacrificial animals slaughtered.
The authorities concerned took the necessary steps to ensure that operations went off smoothly at the slaughterhouses and efforts were also made to make sure that people could reach these places easily without facing any difficulties with traffic.
The Traffic Department, in co-operation with the Rescue Police (Al Fazaa) and Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), conducted joint patrols from the early hours of the day at a number of places - including localities where large groups of people gathered for the morning prayers - to control the flow of traffic.
Congestion and crowding were anticipated in some places, but the patrols ensured that people could access the designated prayer sites without any difficulty. Proper entry and exit points also helped manage the crowds easily. Special assistance was provided to the elderly, families with children and people with special needs – something that earned the praise of the public.
As a distinctive featured of Eid al-Adha, many locals and expatriates distribute meat among friends, relatives and the needy as a gesture highlighting the spirit of sharing. Many Arab families sit together for a meal of meat, broth and other local dishes, as well as different kinds of sweets.
People also take the opportunity to spend quality time with their families, bringing together the young and the old. For children, in particular, the Eid festivities provide much joy and they also receive currency notes from their elders as a customary gift. “It’s a special time of the year for everyone, especially children,” said a parent. “We look forward to spending a lot of time with relatives and friends.”
Special Eid al-Adha programmes also got under way yesterday, with Qatar Tourism Authority and its partners lining up a series of shows and activities. The Ministry of Interior, too, is holding a two-day “communities celebration” at different venues until today.
The authorities, on their part, have taken a number of steps in preparation for the festivities – from ensuring fair practices at retail outlets to making due arrangements at abattoirs and ensuring the safety and security of Qatar’s inhabitants and visitors during the busy Eid period. Special attention has been paid to the traffic situation, too, and motorists have been urged to follow rules and drive safely.
Shops and hypermarkets remained busy in the run-up to Eid, as people flocked to these places in large numbers to buy essential goods as well as gifts.
As people returned home following the prayers, roads in the country generally experienced light traffic until the evening, when some families stepped out to enjoy the holidays. The high humidity did not seem to deter them.Last updated: September 12 2016 09:32 PM
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