Eid Mubarak: a time to celebrate – and to remember sacrifice

Eid is an occasion to reflect on the bravery of Emirati soldiers fighting to liberate Yemen

Discounts of up to 90 per cent are being offered to shoppers this weekend in a massive Eid sale organised in coordination with the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National
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The holy month of Ramadan is coming to a close. Weeks of reverential fasting by Muslims around the world in observance of one of the five pillars of Islam will now make way for three days of festive celebration – and quiet reflection. Eid is an occasion that brings together families and friends. But to all those that observe the holy month, Eid is not simply a celebration. While Ramadan can be challenging, its end triggers pangs of loss for many Muslims. There is a sanctity to the month, when the whims of the individual are sidelined in service of Allah, community and family. It is a period that prioritises discipline, healthy eating and kindness; creeds that all of us should follow well beyond the month's conclusion.

This year, the joy will be tempered with poignant remembrance of, and abiding gratitude for, those who selflessly underwrite our freedoms and security. This week, four Emirati servicemen – Sub-Lt Khalifa Saif Saeed Al Khatri, First Warrant Officer Ali Mohammed Rashid Al Hassani,  Sgt Khamis Abdullah Khamis Al Zeyoudi and First Corporal Obaid Hamdan Saeed Al Abdouli – died while taking part in the Saudi-led Arab Coalition's military operation to restore Yemen's legitimate government. They sacrificed their lives to liberate fellow Arabs besieged by a brutal militia that has transformed Yemen into a theatre of unspeakable suffering and stopped Yemenis from performing the Hajj. Their martyrdom only deepens the resolve of the UAE to complete the mission.

This Eid, we come together in a time of global uncertainty and unrest. In the neighbourhood, conflict continues to claim lives in Syria. Further afield, the Rohingya, expelled from their homes in Myanmar for being Muslim, continue to live in perilous conditions. Disease and destitution remain rife in many parts of the world. Empathy is central to Islam – and Eid, reminding us of all that is dear to us, prompts us to reflect on the world around us and renew our commitment to good causes. In that spirit, The National wishes all its readers Eid Mubarak.