Expatriates set their holidays on the dates of holidays to travel to their home countries, as they are occasions where compassion is manifested at its best, but the situation differed this year because of Corona, as expatriates test for the second consecutive year the meaning of the holiday away from the people and the homeland, although most of them consider the country in which his second country resides .
Al-Jazeera met with a number of expatriates via social media and e-mail in addition to direct meetings with residents in the Qatari capital, Doha, to talk about their feelings and the impact of Corona on the way they celebrate the holiday.
Eid via networking sites
Although the meetings included Sweden and Australia, and from the Gulf states Qatar and Kuwait, they all agreed that the high costs of airline tickets and quarantine and the fear of losing jobs had the greatest impact on their decision not to travel and spend Eid al-Adha in their home countries.
This case embodies a video of a Palestinian family (the Mahmoud Afaneh family), recently spread on social networking sites where family members are distributed between Palestine, Jordan and the Gulf countries, including Qatar and Canada, as an innovative feast of the holiday, which included the presentation of roses, chocolates, cakes for the feast and "Eid" as well.
No feast in Sweden
“We used to travel and quench our thirst to see the family and the homeland. There is no atmosphere for Eid in Sweden, especially with Koruna. We spend the days of Eid with trips to the sea and nature,” says Wafa Al-Batsh, a Palestinian-Syrian teacher, who holds Swedish citizenship, and resides in Malmo.
It turns out that everyone suffers due to corona and lack of job opportunities - except for the groups that are supported by the state such as the elderly and retired people - which wasted the joy of the feast and stop visits to maintain the social divergence to prevent corona, as there is no stone in Sweden as the people are aware and educated, and takes into account safety, according to her saying.
Corona postpones the wedding
Diala Aqeel Jarad (32 years old), a Jordanian nurse working in Qatar, feels that the joy of Eid is incomplete, especially as her parents wish her presence with them, but the means of communication with the video feature helped her relieve them.
"Corona has canceled plans made by my fiancé from the beginning of the year, the first of which is the cancellation of our wedding ceremonies." Diala recalls her difficult experience with the last visit to Jordan last March, a few days before the issuance of government decisions to close airports, and she remained there for 3 continuous months.
"When I booked the return ticket to Qatar in conjunction with Eid Al Fitr, the prices were very reasonable at the time, and the quarantine here was free and the hotel and medical care Qatar provided us was extraordinary," Diyala said.
And Diyala considers that travel has become very difficult starting from booking the flight, spacing and sterilization procedures, keeping the muzzle and wearing gloves throughout the trip, to the airport, checks and quarantine procedures. In addition, the loss of jobs is a source of concern for many expatriates, and stresses, "It is a source of concern for me personally, because I was supporting my family during the curfew period in Jordan, as my father is a daily worker."
Diyala passes the Eid Al-Adha holiday, which continues until the end of this week with the family of her brother and her friends, and expresses her happiness that life has returned to normal in Qatar, which gave her optimism that the pandemic is fading away, and she goes to these places to celebrate her return to work again.
Nostalgia for Eid details
Muhannad Ali Kawar, 41, is a Jordanian who works as an operational risk manager at a bank in Kuwait. He says, "Eid comes and brings joy to everyone's hearts. It is an opportunity to meet friends and relatives in sessions that people are often busy with because of the concerns of daily life."
He added, "Expatriate Day has another meaning. It comes loaded with longing for families and longing for details that they used to live in their homelands with their families. They practice their rituals by communicating with family and relatives."
"Expatriate Day is an ordinary day for those who have no relatives and friends. Hence the positive social networking sites that helped a lot by creating an atmosphere of joy to communicate with family and loved ones, even from behind a screen."
Unity surrounded the expatriate
Rima Sadiq, 38, a Palestinian dentist living in Australia, says, "Loneliness is what embodies the feeling of expatriates having to spend Eid away from family, so the holiday is not complete except for you and your family members around you. Share your greetings and blessings and live the beautiful rituals of the Eid prayer, and eat breakfast on the morning of Eid , And the special holiday feast. "
Rima is spending the days of the holiday communicating with members of her family through the means of communication, in addition to meeting with friends of alienation and Arab families in Australia.
Learn about the beauty of our second country
Raneem Zuhair Abu Ghosh, 26, is a Jordanian housewife residing in Qatar, and due to the circumstances the world is going through, and the inability to travel due to the high prices of airline tickets and the stone imposed on travelers, she was forced to spend the holiday in Qatar, far from the family, but she and her small family She spends Eid days with close friends, calling them "our second family, surrounded by reassurance near them," she says to Al Jazeera Net.
"We spend the days of Eid visiting tourist places and getting to know more about the beauty of our second country, Qatar, and in its beautiful tourist hotel facilities, including the Creek."
This is exotic tax
Nermin Reda Awadin Mohamed (30 years) works as a pharmacist, an Egyptian doctor residing in Qatar, saying, "On the blessed Eid Al-Adha we all miss the presence of relatives and relatives with us, but this is a tax of alienation, and in recent times because of Corona, our lifestyle has changed somewhat, so we are looking for places That guarantees the safety of our families and does not expose us to any risks, and therefore fewer opportunities for hiking and gathering, and fewer opportunities for everyone to travel for our safety. "
"We spend most of the time at home, or we go to the sea where there are few exit places during this period, which reduced the list of places' choices for the Eid al-Adha holiday," she explains.
Expatriate holiday to rest
Reda Al-Rifai, 29, a Jordanian engineer residing in Qatar, says, “The expatriate feels the slight joy of the holiday that boasts a gathering of family, relatives and friends, so he tries to make up for the shortage by phone communication and video communication, so the holiday ends for the expatriate on the first day of the holiday, so the days of the holiday lose their content and become a holiday to take a break".
The long days of Hajar are the main reason for expatriates not traveling on vacation, as travel has become in vain and costly enough to lose the joy of travel.
"On the first day, we visited some relatives present in Qatar for the greeting, and currently we are considering entertainment as a plan to spend the rest of the days in a tourist facility," Reda said.
I do not feel any stranger in Qatar
Samer Al-Darhali, a former media employee, completes graduate studies, a Jordanian residing in Qatar, saying, "I do not feel any foreignness in Qatar, because I am one of her sons, and I lived, studied, and grew up in it, and worked in its various institutions. Qatar is like home to me and to many of my relatives."
She notes that family holiday visits are limited to first-degree relatives, while the rest of the family is contacted through phone conversations and text messages, and adds, "I spent the holiday with my small family at home and only two visits to grandmother and grandmother's homes, in addition to practicing new activities and providing games for my children to make them feel the atmosphere." Eid, even if it is confined to home.
Al-Darhali does not go to public places as it is the mother of two children, and it is considered a risk that travel is only dared by those who have to.