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Somber Eid in Iraq and Syria

Monday, October 14, 2013 - 01:38

Oct. 14 - A grim time to celebrate Eid al-Adha for Syrians in refugee camps as Iraqis say it is difficult to enjoy the holiday as violence mounts. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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It doesn't feel like the holiday season in this Syrian refugee camp. As Muslims across the world welcome the Eid Al Adha celebrations, for some it is just a grim reminder of what's been lost. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN, SUAD ZEIN, SAYING: "Before [the crisis], during Eid, we used to go to shops and buy items, we were happy, Eid was a wonderful holiday here. Now these days I can't even buy my boy a pair of trousers, or shoes, or even a loaf of bread. I have eight children, I can't support them all, we are living in despair." Some are going through the motions in this camp near the Turkish border. Others among the millions of displaced Syrians are in no mood to celebrate. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UM KHALED, SYRIAN REFUGEE, SAYING: "We are not celebrating Eid, we have nothing for Eid, we have nothing to celebrate. We used to celebrate with food, drinks, desserts, we used to make pastries, now there's nothing. I can't afford a loaf of bread for my children." While there is plenty of activity on the streets in Baghdad as Iraqis prepare to mark Eid, after years of war the mood is grim. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SHOPPER, ALI MOHAMMED, SAYING: "Eid has disappeared long ago from our lives, Iraqis now only think about survival and security, not Eid. It's impossible to find an Iraqi now who says they will celebrate Eid, even children cannot enjoy Eid." There are welcome signs of normalcy -- but Iraq is still in the throws of violence, with increasing fears of a return to full-blown sectarian conflict.

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Somber Eid in Iraq and Syria

Monday, October 14, 2013 - 01:38