The annual Eid al-Adha holiday is normally marked with prayers at dawn followed by a celebration in the streets and sacrificial slaughter of animals, the meat being distributed to the poor.
But this year is different, although in Jordan where the kingdom has largely controlled the virus, worshippers gathered wearing masks to observe the prayers and celebrations that followed.
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But in Iraq, Syria and Egypt mosques were closed and the streets were empty of the usual Eid crowds.
In Baghdad, Iraq an informal gathering in front of the Abu Hanifa mosque was a rare exception in a city placed under total lockdown since Thursday, July 30 and until at least Monday, August 3, as part of the nationwide curfew imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
“I came despite the circumstances, the curfews and the closures, I came to pray in the street,” said one Baghdad resident alongside a few dozen on the pavement nearby the Abu Hanifa mosque, in the capital’s popular Adhimiya district.
In Damascus, Syria Zaki al-Abdallah told Reuters: “The coronavirus prevented us from living our lives. Today is Eid and there are no prayers, if anyone wants to sit with friends, they need to be sitting away from each other, if they want to greet each other they cannot approach each other. The coronavirus has separated us.”
Families in the region are expected to spend most of their holiday at home.