Home is where the feast is: Afghan refugees celebrate Eid with native country

Published: October 15, 2013
Prayers were offered in Kachi Garhi Camp and many other parts of the city, including Karkhano, Hayatabad and Board Bazaar. PHOTOS: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

Prayers were offered in Kachi Garhi Camp and many other parts of the city, including Karkhano, Hayatabad and Board Bazaar. PHOTOS: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS


Afghan refugees in Peshawar celebrated Eidul Azha on Tuesday along with their native country.

Eid in Pakistan will be celebrated on Wednesday (today) in accordance with the announcement of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, but refugees in Peshawar observed it a day earlier because Afghanistan follows Saudi Arabia for all religious festivals.

Prayers were offered in many parts of the city, including Karkhano, Hayatabad and Board Bazaar areas, but the largest congregation was held in Kacha Garhi Camp where around 3,000 Afghan refugees offered Eid prayers.

Other residents of Peshawar, however, have agreed to stick to the decision of the central Ruet-e-Hilal committee and the local committee at Masjid Qasim Ali Khan to celebrate Eid on Wednesday.

Eid messages for Afghan citizens arrived from friends, family and government officials living in the neighbouring country. Later, animals were sacrificed while children rushed to different parks to celebrate.

“We are not wrong; the whole Islamic world is celebrating Eid today (Tuesday). It is only in Pakistan where Eid would be celebrated a day later,” said Rehmanullah, an Afghan elder, after offering Eid prayers at Kacha Garhi.

He said Pakistanis should also celebrate with Muslims in other parts of the world to maintain the spirit of unity. “Afghans consider it their religious duty to celebrate Eid with Saudi Arabia,” he added.

“All Muslims should celebrate this moment together on the same day. Celebrating holy festivals separately has divided Muslims around the world,” said Khaista Gul, who had also come to Kacha Garhi to offer Eid prayers.

Eid was also celebrated in Matta, Khwaja Was, Daman Korona, Nishan Bagh, Monda Camp, Baro Khel areas of tehsil Shabqadar.

In Swabi district, residents of Gandaf and Bagecha celebrated the festival on Tuesday because of the large number of Afghan refugees living there.

The local ulema committee in Mohmand and North Waziristan tribal regions also decided to observe Eid with Saudi Arabia.

Basher Khan, a resident of Ghallanai, Mohmand Agency, said: “We object to two Eids because it creates nothing but disunity among people. We are bound to our area because when we go to other parts of the region people have no respect for our Eid.” He demanded unity on all such occasions. “As Pakistanis and Muslims we should be united in such matters.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • ModiFied
    Oct 15, 2013 - 9:16PM

    Reminds me the famous Manna De sung song from film “Kabuliwala”… “Ai mere piare watan, tujh pe dil qurban”… Doesn’t matter how far ne is from his country, one remains tied back with one’s heart and soul. Eid Bubaraq my Afghani friends.


  • Humanoids
    Oct 15, 2013 - 9:37PM

    Well they better live in their native country too!!!!!


  • Karachiwala
    Oct 15, 2013 - 9:53PM

    from that spirit of unity…lets pray zohar namaz to follow saudia-arabia even if its time for asar namaz in your area.


  • Nb
    Oct 15, 2013 - 10:32PM

    @ ModiFied

    I read ‘Kabuliwala’ in my 4th Hindi standard textbook …forgot all about it till I read your comment.
    Lovely story..Tagore’s ,I think..haven’t seen the film,yet.


  • Zif
    Oct 16, 2013 - 1:12AM

    Why don’t they go and celebrate eid in their piyare Afghanistan. You can be a guest for 1 or 2 years but not for 35 years.


  • Jibran
    Oct 16, 2013 - 3:24AM

    The K-P govt must take action against all Afghan refugees who while living under this country’s (Pakistan) law decides to go against its decision of celebrating Eid a day later from S-Arab. the so-called “pure muslims” i.e. the Afghan Refugees did not celebrate Eid with Saudi because of observing religious unity but to gain economic profits from it.
    Celebrating Eid a day earlier from their neighbours gives them (Refugees) chance to exploit their fellow Muslims the other day when majority of peoople celebrate Eid and slaughter sacrificial animals. Afghan Refugees dominate business of Eid Day by offering their services as Butchers (though far inexperience who some time cause to distort sacrificial animal before even slaughtered), skin and antestine collectors and knoking your home door asking meat.
    All the members of a normal Afghan FRefugee family goes out for business on Eid Day. Each refugees family consists of 14 members, average wise. So make them bound to have equal business chances and save society from distorting unity.


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