War and No Peace, Eid Begins

As we start the celebrations of Eid Al Fitr today, let us not forget our Muslim brothers and sisters in the troubled regions.

The end of the holy month of Ramadan, and of fasting, ushers in, once again, the joyous festivities which bring families and friends together.

But let us not forget those who have lost homes, lost property, and even lost their loved ones in war-torn regions of Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. The violence is still going on in all those places. And it shows no sign of ending.

As I write this here, far away in Gaza, the 24-hour ceasefire seems to have been violated – with both sides continuing their offensives.

More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed since Israel launched its military offensive on July 8.

We know that, with the announcement of Eid Al Fitr now, some parts of the world will soon get drowned in the lights, eats, music, and family get-togethers that mark the celebrations.

But we also know there are other parts of the world which are drowned in sorrow, hunger, pain and, even the lack of the most basic necessities.

Therefore, the end of the holy month of Ramadan should not stop us from continuing to say our prayers – particularly for those adversely affected by war.

In Syria and parts of Iraq, it is not just the deaths which result from the clashes between ISIS and Iraqi government forces, but the destruction of homes, hospitals and administrative buildings that is increasing the misery of those who cannot celebrate Eid today.

In Ukraine, the fact that the rebels shot down a passenger plane of Malaysian Airlines (MH17) shows the extreme animosity that has grown between Ukraine and its rebels, supported by Russia.

As coffins with collected- remains of the bodies of Dutch travellers of flight MH17 return to Amsterdam, the misery of the families cannot be casually brushed aside.

The Algerian Air crash is yet another example of unexpected suffering in another Muslim land, where they will not fully enjoy the festivities of Eid.

However, despite all the bad-news, it is essential that we do not give up hope. It is essential that we do not lose our will to work for the good.

Nations and the comity of nations must work towards peaceful solutions, because it is just not right for us to see war as an option in 21st century.

Gone are the days of brutish barbarians and ruthless vandals. These are the days when state-of-the-art technology and global communication can enable worthy solutions if people are simply willing to sit and talk, instead of taking up arms.

Today, as we visualise the shimmering crescent moon floating over the minarets of Bahrain, let us also visualise the arrival of a new month, a new hope, a new aspiration, for peace and prosperity without these needless wars.

Eid Mubarak!