Security

Iraqis celebrate Eid al-Fitr, victory in Mosul

By Khalid al-Taie

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Iraqis enjoy rides at al-Zawraa park in Baghdad during Eid al-Fitr, which coincides with major victories against the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' in Mosul. [Photo courtesy of al-Zawraa Facebook page]

Iraqis are celebrating Eid al-Fitr amid military victories against the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) that include the liberation of much of Mosul.

"Eid is joyous without ISIS," Adel Abdul Ilah, 41, of east Mosul's al-Muthanna district told Diyaruna, describing the holiday as a celebration of victory. "We can now actually celebrate Eid al-Fitr after getting rid of the terrorists."

To brighten the holiday for those in need, the Sunni Endowment Office in Ninawa province has been presenting new clothes to orphaned children in Mosul.

"We have launched a campaign to bring the joy of Eid to orphans in our city, particularly children who lost their parents as a result of the terrorism of ISIS," Sunni Endowment head Abu Bakr Kanaan told Diyaruna.

The Endowment office has been handing out new clothes for Eid to about 5,000 orphans in both the eastern and western sides of Mosul, and is holding events, competitions and prizes for children and widows and families of martyrs.

"Over the past couple of days, we have given out no less than 7,500 food baskets and aid supplies to residents of al-Resala, al-Yarmouk, al-Islah al-Ziraie and Badoush as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Old City of Mosul," Kanaan said.

"Our efforts are ongoing and increasing to help provide aid to all disadvantaged families affected by terrorism," he said.

Baghdad celebrates Eid

"There was pain in our hearts with every Eid that went by as our families in Mosul and other places were held captive by ISIS," said Bassam Mowafak, 38, of Baghdad's al-Yarmouk neighbourhood.

"We were confident that the day would come when we could celebrate Eid with them," he told Diyaruna. "Soon, not an inch of our land will be under ISIS control."

"Victory over ISIS is our Eid," said Rusul Mohammed, 34, of Baghdad's al-Saydiya neighbourhood, as she prepared to take her two children to a park. "Nothing matches our joy as occupied parts of our homeland are now liberated."

In Baghdad, Eid festivities are under way across the city.

"All the public parks and gardens are ready to receive visitors and cater for a pleasant experience for families," the mayoralty's director of public relations Hakim Abdul Zahra told Diyaruna.

Al-Zawraa amusement park is organising a fireworks display, he said, and there will be guest appearances from sports figures and artists.

Children and adults also can enjoy a state of the art roller coaster and other rides at al-Zawraa and other recreational centres in the city, he said.

Aditionally, he said, the mayoralty has "decorated the streets of the capital with bright lights that highlight the public joy over the latest military victories".

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