Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations begin in Gulf
Dubai, Sep 30 (IANS) Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations started across the Gulf nations Tuesday following the sighting of the Shawwal crescent of the moon Monday evening.
People thronged mosques across the region Tuesday, the first day of the month of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, after the sighting of the moon Monday marked the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
In Abu Dhabi, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan received the country's Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Al Meshref Palace on the occasion.
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by crown prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who also exchanged greetings with Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Khalifa also exchanged Eid greetings with Sheikhs, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries, members of diplomatic corps accredited to the UAE and a large number of citizens.
Earlier in the day, Sheikh Mohammed visited the tomb of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, father of the UAE.
He recited verses from the Quran and invoked god for showering his mercy on the soul of Sheikh Zayed.
In Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz congratulated Muslims across the world on the occasion.
In a message over Saudi Television read out by Culture and Information Minister Iyad Madani, King Abdullah and crown prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz called upon Muslims to strengthen their unity and solidarity.
'From the land of the two holy mosques, the light of Islam spread all over the world... Muslim men and women have been fasting and performing prayers (over the past month) and spreading love and peace,' the message said.
'We are living in an age that demands from Muslims to strengthen their relations with god, their love toward the Prophet, their commitment toward their religion and their brethren in faith and their tolerance toward others,' they said.
Kuwait's ruler Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah performed Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the state Grand Mosque Tuesday.
He was accompanied by crown prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Speaker of the National Assembly Jassem Al-Kharafi, senior sheikhs, Deputy Chief of Kuwait's National Guards Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Acting Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah besides other senior state officials.
In Bahrain, King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa attended Eid-ul-Fitr prayers along with the crown prince and deputy supreme commander Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Following the Eid prayer, the king received wellwishers who wished him continued health and happiness and to Bahrain and its people further development and prosperity, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported.
Meanwhile, police in Bahrain's capital Manama stepped up efforts for road safety with expectations of heavy traffic on the city's roads.
Eid greeting cards featuring safety tips were also being distributed.
In Qatar, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani offered Eid-ul-Fitr prayers along with the public at the Al-Wajabah praying ground in Doha.
Thaqeil Sayer Al-Shummari, member of the Higher Judicial Council, gave the Eid sermon.
The Kerala Cultural Centre (KCC) in Qatar will also host an Eid meet Wednesday at the Shanthi Nikethan Indian School in which Abdul Samad Pukottoor, a prominent speaker and educationist from Kerala will deliver a speech on the 'Message of Eid'.
Oman's ruler Sultan Qaboos Bin Said exchanged greetings and congratulatory calls on the occasion with leaders of brotherly and friendly countries, the Oman News Agency reported.
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