“Maybe I will take a trip, alone, without my family, to Wadi Mujib,” shared Education Specialist Assistant Munah with the kind of confident grin that one would only wear before attempting one of Jordan’s more challenging hikes. “I want to try it, and I want to have time to relax and be alone.” Munah, who assists with educational activities at CRP, is planning her venture to Wadi Mujib during the week of Eid al-Adha, a national holiday in Jordan.

Education Specialist Karam will spend the day with the entirety of her Jordanian extended family. “You know how it is for Americans at Christmas, that is how it is during Eid here,” she said. “My whole family comes and we will cook a big meal and give gifts. There will be so, so many people!”

Eid al-Adha marks the beginning of the new year and is the most important holiday in Islam. Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic Calendar. The holiday commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael in an act of religious obedience. After witnessing Ibrahim’s devotion to the task, God replaced Ishmael with a ram, thereby saving his life. Eid al-Adha also marks the conclusion of the Hajj, the five day sacred journey to Mecca that every Muslim who is able must make at least once during his or her lifetime.

Karam (left) and Sara (right) discuss their Eid plans.

Eid al-Adha commences with a communal prayer called Salat al-Eid. In the days leading up to Eid al-Adha, Amman’s streets will be full of families purchasing new clothing, gifts and sweets in preparation for the festivities. Families with sufficient finances might also purchase a sheep to slaughter and distribute some of the meat to those with fewer resources. Celebrations for Eid al-Adha often go on for several days.

During the holiday, CRP will be closed. This gives our Muslim staff members time to observe the holiday, and everyone (regardless of religion) gets a much-needed rest!

Adnan, who administers programs and helps with Basic Needs Assistance, was planning a diving trip in Aqaba but had to use the money to assist his sister with her surgery. Instead, he’ll be spending the break catching up on chores and doing some much needed relaxation. “I’m going to wash my clothes and my room, and do some cooking. I hope to also have a lot of time to hang out with my friends,” he stated.

Staff member Sara will spend her break reuniting with family. “This Eid I am going to visit my uncle in Irbid. He is coming from Kuwait and I haven’t seen him for six years. I haven’t seen him and his kids for so long. One of his kids is now five and I haven’t seen him at all,” she said excitedly. Sara will also continue the Eid tradition that she, her husband, and her kids observe each year. “In the morning, we wake up go to the prayer, then we come back home and dress in our new clothes. We go out to greet some friends, some neighbors, and people we know. In the afternoon, we go to malls and eat lunch out. My kids are so excited for the new clothes and new shoes too. I like Eid. But I wish that my family [in Syria] could be with me. This is the second Eid without my family.”

CRP will be closed from August 19-25 in observance of Eid al Adha.