After watching Santa selling balloons in downtown Ramallah the night before Eid, I left the bustling town to go to Aboud.
The reason we had to go there on the first day of Eid Al Fitir, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan's fast, is because it's the first Eid following my grandma's death. Apparently, her house had to be open to visitors who wanted to commemorate her passing. I sat with my aunts at my grandmother's deserted home, shaking the hands of tens of women coming in and out. All of them knew who I was (the daughter of the dead mom and grandma), but I had no idea who most of them were (pretty awkward).
The conversations swung from dead relatives to living ones that have royally messed up in the past few years. I had no idea who most of the characters were so I hungout with the little kids. What I found most fascinating were the toys; all made in china, each kid had a collection of plastic guns, a plastic Winni the Po character, and a fake plastic phone. It's obvious that these toys were especially imported for Eid since the phone sang a strange, barely audible song about Makka, and had a picture of a religious singer dude in a grey suit. I couldn't believe the constant sound of exploding fireworks in a town that is still echoing the memory of Israeli army jeeps and past-midnight gunshots. Perhaps the kids try to gain control by inflicting the noises themselves.
This eid, my first in four years, felt like an ode to santa and grandma. May santa live forever in downtown Ramallah and hand kids balloons to celebrate all days, bitter and sweet, and may my grandmother float inside of my sky and help me be unabashedly loving, courageous and loud!
Hope y'all have a Merry Eid.