|© Akhuwat 2014|
Shahzad told us that “Eid al-Fitr is celebrated in Pakistan with great religious harmony and enthusiastically and is treated as the second biggest event for all Muslims around the world. In Pakistan many days before Eid, people start to think and buy special dresses for the occasion as everybody wants to be look nice, beautiful and handsome on Eid day (Especially my wife who looks very awesome & pretty on Eid day)”. After attending morning prayers alongside their family people will greet “each other with embraces just to share their happiness” as well as give gifts of money to children and share sweet noodles in milk, a traditional Eid dish, with their neighbours, friends & relatives. Later in the day the children will spend the money they have been given in market stalls on sweets and ice creams while others will visit the graves of loved ones or go to the cinema or carnival with friends.
Shahzad also tells us that one of the most interesting dimensions of the day is the acts of charity that are incorporated into the Eid festivities and the Month of Ramadan as a whole. Many people will commemorate the occasion by donating a great deal towards helping the poor in their communities, either by arranging lunches and dinners, providing grocery items or simply in the form of money so that they too can afford new clothes for their families at Eid. Shahzad explains that for people in Pakistan “a special occasion [like Eid] is an opportunity to try to share their happiness with others rather than just celebrating it within [their immediate] family”. Indeed the Eid celebrations are especially important for entrepreneurs like Fozia Fatima, a mother of four from Lahore who received an interest-free loan from Akhuwat to start a beauticians business to help pay for her children’s education after her husband was injured at work. The desire of people in her local area to look their best on Eid means increased demand for Fozia’s beauty treatments and provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs like her to gain new customers and grow their businesses. The small loan (£102) Fozia requested to adequately stock her beauty parlour was covered by Lendwithcare lenders, enabling our partner in Pakistan, Akhuwat, to issue more loans to small business owners like Fozia.
In the spirit of the occasion Akhuwat also distributed around 500 family clothes gift packs to their entrepreneurs and other needy people ensuring the poor also celebrate Eid even if they don’t have the capacity to buy clothes. In addition Akhuwat and a full team of volunteers arranged a carnival and a meal for their entrepreneur’s families in recognition of the hard work and achievements they have made in the past year. On behalf of Akhuwat and all of our partners and entrepreneurs across the world we would like to wish all our lenders a blessed celebration Eid al-Fitr and thank them for their continued generosity in allowing people like Fozia Fatima to take advantage of opportunities to improve their lives for the better.
|© Akhuwat 2014|