It’s been a busy holiday season at the Islamic Center of Omaha. Ahmad Ghosheh explains the 30 days of the Ramadan holiday month are winding up with a celebration. In Arabic, the word for any holiday or celebration is “aa-EED” and this end of fasting that caps Ramadan is Eid-al-Fitr. Practicing Muslims, including many in Nebraska and Iowa, go without food from sunup to sundown the entire month, and Shosheh explains there are many other rules for behavior as well. For a whole month they don’t take food or drink when the sun’s above the horizon, and also try to give up swearing, lying, cheating, and anything that’s considered bad behavior, or even bad manners. The fasting is part of a ritual of self-discipline that’s aimed at making the believer in Islam a better person. He believes after 30 days of the discipline, you’ll come out a better person with more control over your desires and needs, physical and spiritual, that hopefully will carry you through the whole year. Ghosheh says people come to Omaha’s Islamic Center from all over for this Eid, and others that note special dates like the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. He says people come from Lincoln and Fremont in Nebraska, and cross the river from Clarinda, Iowa, since the nearest mosque besides Omaha is in Sioux City.
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