Allow me to share some thoughts with you about Eid. Personally, I really enjoy it. For one, my father still gives me a Eidiya! (The Islamic tradition of giving cash to younger members of the family).
I think that Eid really has Godly wisdom in it. It allows you to see and ask about family members that you wouldn’t otherwise see. I love how people visit each other. I have cousins that I only see on Eid. I really like them and enjoy their company, but I’m so busy with my life and work during the year that I don’t have time to stop and think about them, let alone think of arranging a get-together.
So I see them for a few minutes in Eid and we catch up. Same goes for uncles and aunts. My father has 13 other siblings (from separate mothers) and they live in different countries. I never see them all in the same place, but I do see some of them during Eid, and that’s really nice.
This year, after some visitations, I did some serious thinking about my family. I know I have 13 uncles and aunts, dozens of first cousins and probably hundreds of second and third cousins. Yet I only know very few of them.
So I decided to get one of those family softwares that helps you organise the whole family. I checked out several of them online and I finally decided on Reunion for Mac.
I entered all the people I know that are direct descendants from my grandfather Abdulrahman. I then sat for about 20 minutes or so with my father and he gave me all the names of his nieces and nephews. He admitted that even he did not know all of them.
Anyway, it turns out I’ve got 73 first cousins from my Saudi side! And only 4 cousins from my German side (my mother is German). In total I entered 143 relatives, ranging from siblings to “cousins twice removed”. I must say I’m proud of my little family tree. Now I can do a quick check before I go to a family gathering and refresh my memory.
Other Eid Musings… and the Fight That Almost Happened
Today we took the kids to the City Centre mall so that they could buy themselves some gifts from their Eid money. Every Eid their money is divided into three parts. The largest portion is placed into their savings account, another portion is given to charity, and a small amount is taken out for them to buy toys.
My son Laith’s current obsession is Ben 10 . From what I understand, a boy who can transform into various aliens with the help of a wrist watch. Selma bought a small backgammon set.
Later we took them to “Magic Planet”, the games and rides section of the mall – by the way, does anyone else think that there’s a bit of a Magic Island rip-off going on here??
Anyway, one of the games/rides I took the kids into was the Foam Factory. A kind of fort with pneumatic (air pressure) cannons where you gather foam balls, load them into cannons spread out all over the fort, and then fshoot, you shoot!
It’s really cool and lots of fun. The only thing is you have to walk around the fort and gather the foam balls which are scattered all over the place. When you come in they give you these nylon bags so you can gather lots of foam bags.
Anyway, my kids had a bag each and were busy gathering balls. I waited for them at a different section of the fort. I was watching Laith gather lots and lots of balls, with his bag almost full, when a teenager passing by him put his hand in Laith’s bag and just grabbed a hand full! From what I could see he did that twice and almost looked like he took my son’s bag too!
I was furious! The Bahraini boy must have been around 15 years old. I rushed towards him and started shouting at him. I told him how dare he take the balls from a four-year old child. I told him that if he did it again that he’d have me to deal with.
To say the poor boy was shocked would be an understatement. I guess he didn’t expect the little kid’s father to pop out of nowhere and give him a bullocking. I really let him have it. I threatened to call security and the police if he even came close to him again.
I have to admit I went too far. I was so angry. It was the type of anger that really should have been reserved for situations where my son would have been in real danger. The poor lad apologised and tried to explain his point of view but I wouldn’t let him utter a word. I was shouting and gesturing the whole time. I told him to shut up or I would call security.
He started crying and said that he’d call security, and he did. He came a few minutes later with his father, brother and a security guard. I explained to them what happened and they seemed to sympathise with me. The father said that his son was wrong but that I didn’t have the right to hit him. I said that I didn’t hit him at all, but the brother reminded me that I grabbed his collars at some point.
Anyway, the boy was hysterical now and I could tell that his pride was really wounded. He was shouting and crying, saying that since he apologised that I should have accepted his apology. And I guess he was right. I went to him, shook his hand and kissed his forehead and I told him I was sorry.
With tears streaming down his face he accepted my apology and said it was okay. We then stayed another few minutes and then left.
Later in the car I explained what happened to my wife. On reflection, I think the youngster deserved a bit of a shock and telling-off for taking advantage of a four-year old (Well, Laith is almost five actually). That was a mean thing to do.
But the way I treated him was also wrong. I can only imagine how scary it must have been seeing an angry, head-shaven, six-foot-two father yelling his lungs out at you must feel like. And I can be really intimidating if I want to be. Anyway, I think I learnt my lesson too. Next time I won’t overreact like that. At the end of the day the boy didn’t really harm my son. Laith wasn’t even crying or anything.
I guess it’s one of those life lessons.
Well my friend, apart from this incident, overall a GREAT Eid. Back to work and back to reality.
I hope you had a great one too and talk to you soon.