Holy City of Jerusalem Marks Sad End to Ramadan

  • Date: 14-May-2021
  • Source: Asharq AL-awsat
  • Sector:Economy
  • Country:Middle East
  • Who else needs to know?

Holy City of Jerusalem Marks Sad End to Ramadan

Muslim children celebrate after the morning Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosques compound in Old Jerusalem Friday early morning. (AFP)

Dressed in sparkly new clothes and clutching balloons, excited children Thursday reveled in the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr celebrations in Jerusalem’s Old City.

But days of violence lay heavy on their parents’ hearts.

As the first rays of sun began to break over the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site of Islam, crowds of Palestinians gathered for the first prayers to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The three-day festival is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and shopping for new clothes, gifts and sweets.

Stalls stacked high with colorful plastic toys, or tasty sesame-dipped snacks that are a Jerusalem specialty, tempted the crowds snaking along the Old City’s narrow stone streets.

At the centuries-old Damascus Gate, scene of violent clashes between Israeli Arabs and police at the start of Ramadan, two huge bundles of helium-filled balloons fluttered in the spring breeze. Mickey Mouse and Spiderman could be spotted bobbing among them.

Just three days ago, Israeli police deployed so-called skunk water there — a putrid mixture of sewage water — to disperse the crowds after a weekend of unrest in