With over 2,000 Palestinian deaths in the latest Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, citizens still find reasons to commemorate the Islamic Eid Al-Adha, which begins across the Muslim world today.
Eid Al Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice culminates the Hajj season, which this year attracted 2 million pilgrims from around the world.
In Gaza, there is hope amidst rubble, destruction, and loss. Twitter users began circulating images of crowded streets and markets, and shared positive messages using the hashtags #GazaEid and #غزة_بدها_تعيد (meaning, Gaza wants to celebrate Eid).
The 50-day offensive, which killed at least 2,137 Palestinians, a majority of whom were civilians, including 577 children, and wounded at least 10,870 others, may have destroyed the Strip's infrastructure but has failed to dent the morale of civilians, who shake off the rubble today to celebrate Eid.
The attack has had a noticeable effect on Gaza's economy, with hardly any civilian infrastructure left untouched: over 18,000 homes destroyed, as well as over 100 schools, 50 health-care centers and 17 hospitals damaged or 20 destroyed.
Twitter user Sana'a Mohammed shares an image of a young boy playing in a demolished playground:
Eid in Gaza totally different #غزة_بدها_تعيد #GazaEid http://t.co/WXpUDS4dF9 @HuffPostRelig @BumpinGemz
— sana'a mohammed-Gaza (@Sanaa_Palestine) October 1, 2014
Just yesterday, citizen photographer Omar ElQattaa snaps a photograph of a man carrying an Eid sacrifice:
Palestinian man carrying a goat, which was purchased in the market before Eid al-Adha in #Gaza #غزة_بدها_تعيد عدستي pic.twitter.com/dWSmfgE4gr
— Sniper (@OmarElQattaa) October 2, 2014
Sayel in Gaza posts a collage of Eid preparations:
Eid preparations at #Gaza strip earlier today. pic.twitter.com/IIibpJZvJm
— صَايلْ (@SayelGaza) October 3, 2014
Here are more images from Gaza's busy markets earlier this week from Hasan Mustafa:
Gazan getting ready to have happy Eid after #Israel Massacres over it in the previous months , #Gaza deserve Life pic.twitter.com/1bCojqsLut
— Dr.Hasan Mustafa (@Hasan_Mun) October 2, 2014
And of course, Eid's spirit is always intensified by traditional, homemade ma'moul (date cookies):
Getting ready for eid… #Palestine #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/lFtBssVhfo
— فلسطين i (@iFalasteen) October 3, 2014
Children, despite pain, will enjoy Eid, says Hiba in Gaza:
#غزة_بدها_تعيد أطفال #غزة رغم الألم راح يعيدو pic.twitter.com/gnyIAWG83g
— هبة من غزة Gaza (@hebagaza) October 3, 2014
Despite the pain, the children of Gaza will commemorate Eid
More from Gaza's markets, where the spirits seem to be at a high:
#GazaEid directly from #Gaza streets despite the pain & the Israeli siege, we'll celebrate #غزة_بدها_تعيد pic.twitter.com/ursPUaj458
— Khaled Safi خالدصافي (@KhaledSafi) October 2, 2014
Gaza wants to celebrate Eid
Nuseiba points out that despite the many sacrifices and losses Gaza endured those last few months, the city still wants to celebrate Eid:
#غزة هذا العام عيد الأضحى اجى عندها بكير ضحت بأبناءها وفلذات أكبادها ضحت بممتلكاتها . بس برضو #غزة_بدها_تعيد pic.twitter.com/0QS7RUIZAv
— نسيبة حلس (@nosa_kh) October 1, 2014
This year the Feast of Sacrifice came early to Gaza, which sacrificed its children and property. Despite all this, Gaza wants to celebrate Eid
Farah joins Nuseiba, and the hundreds of other Twitter users when noting how just last Eid, Gaza was still under attack:
Gazans didn't celebrate Eid Al-Fitr bc it was during th war, so we'll double celebrate Al-Adha Eid☺️ #Gaza
— Guess What (@Farah_Gazan) October 2, 2014
Indeed they do:
“We teach life, sir.” #Gaza pic.twitter.com/J0VeErgbuy
— Sara Yasin (@missyasin) October 2, 2014