Gifts to celebrate Eid al-Adha bring joy to Melbourne’s public housing towers

Victorian Muslims have been creative this weekend as they celebrate the competition of Eid al-Adha.

Ordinarily marked with mosque visits and family get-togethers, the annual ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ is the previous of two annual holiday seasons celebrated by Muslims everywhere you go.

Melbourne people in the 9 towers matter to strict lockdown orders in early July home several associates of the Islamic faith.

On Saturday, there ended up 311 active scenarios throughout the North Melbourne and Flemington general public housing structures this means several people go on in isolation.

The Australian Muslim Social Solutions Agency, which has been tirelessly offering for citizens due to the fact stringent lockdowns were enforced, resolved at the very last moment to provide Eid items to each individual household.

Volunteers packed 1,500 baggage with traditional Middle Jap sweets, arts, crafts and toys and delivered them on Friday to all nine towers, including to the non-Muslim people.

AMSSA Youth Hook up venture manager Abdiqafar Ururshe stated it was unique to see the pleasure on faces of the small children.

“Their mother and father had been just expressing ‘thank you so much for bringing Eid to our homes’,” he explained to AAP.

Eid al-Adha present luggage manufactured by youth volunteers for community housing inhabitants across 9 Melbourne structures.


In pre-pandemic instances, up to 2,000 of these people would congregate downstairs from the Flemington towers for yearly Eid al-Adha celebrations, so a silent Eid had an ingredient of sadness.

But Mr Ururshe mentioned people’s attempts to continue to be house at this time have been an act of sacrifice for the better superior – a fitting parallel with the themes of the competition.

Muslims think the Prophet Abraham was analyzed by God who commanded him to sacrifice his to start with-born son Ishmail. Abraham showed his motivation to God by being organized to do as he was instructed. Rather, God advised him to sacrifice a lamb.

Eid al-Adha also marks the culmination of the hajj – a religious pilgrimage – to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The Preston Mosque community in the city’s north is embracing video clip conferencing for Eid loved ones capture-ups, the chair of the mosque constructing Moustafa Fahour OAM reported.

It was sad not to be in a position to show up at the mosque, but far more excellent time with family members was a plus, he said.

“It truly is portion of our faith to abide by these lockdowns to safeguard our local community and our country,” Mr Fahour explained.

The Islamic group in Bendigo in central Victoria is not yet topic to Stage 3 limits but restrictions on gatherings mean constraints on celebrations are the identical.

Group spokesman Heri Febriyanto claimed prayers and speeches have been broadcast to customers, numerous of whom are health care employees, via Zoom.

The Division of Wellbeing and Human Companies on Saturday urged Victorians to secure their group for the duration of Eid al-Adha.

“We have an understanding of this is a sacrifice for Victorian Muslims, but even though we may be physically aside, we can be spiritually connected,” Chief Health and fitness Officer Brett Sutton said.

People in metropolitan Melbourne are subject matter to continue to be-at-dwelling orders and can only depart home for necessary do the job, analyze, workout or care tasks. It is also necessary to dress in masks in community.

Persons in Australia will have to remain at least 1.5 metres absent from other individuals. Check out your state’s limits on accumulating limits.

If you are enduring cold or flu signs or symptoms, continue to be house and organize a examination by contacting your health care provider or call the Coronavirus Overall health Info Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and facts is obtainable in 63 languages at

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Eid al-Adha is very different for Australia’s Muslims this year

Asiye Kekilli runs a stunning jewelry shop in Sydney’s Auburn with her partner and teenage son.

At this time of 12 months, the stream of purchasers is ordinarily regular, with many in search of gifts for liked kinds all through the competition of Eid al-Adha.

But income are down this yr amid restrictions on huge gatherings and loved ones gatherings. 

“Oh it’s down by 50 per cent, at least 50 for each cent,” Ms Kekilli tells SBS News. 

“Customers from Melbourne just cannot check out, so they are just purchasing on the net and we are posting it out to them.”

Asiye Kekilli, centre, with her spouse Ender and son Ruzgar, 16.


The loved ones is very pleased to personal Kekilli Jewellery, 1 of the first of its kind in Auburn. But they say this year’s competition of sacrifice is incredibly diverse.

“We applied to have celebrations within our retail store. As a custom, Turkish people today kiss arms [but this year] you are unable to even be inside of one-and-a 50 percent metres, permit alone hug and kiss,” Ms Kekilli says.  

“We stand at a distance and say ‘Happy Eid’, that’s about it.”

Eid al-Adha is the 2nd Eid celebration in the Islamic calendar. The other is Eid al-Fitr, celebrated earlier in the 12 months at the close of Ramadan. 

Eid al-Adha is deemed the much more sacred of the two and is noticed by Muslims all over the globe. It honours the Prophet Abraham, who was eager to sacrifice his son out of obedience to Allah. A lamb was offered to be sacrificed instead. 

Foodstuff is shared with these in want, and specified to neighbours, relations and close friends as properly as instant relatives.

Asiye Kekilli designs jewellery at the family business.

Asiye Kekilli layouts jewellery at the spouse and children company.


The Kekilli loved ones have constructed their company step by step in excess of the past 17 several years.

“My husband’s loved ones in Turkey [apprenticed] him into the trade at a younger age,” Ms Kekilli suggests.

“He started off by sweeping the floors and then figured out jewellery building, and every single calendar year he excelled simply because he was intrigued in the discipline. So this is in which he is right now.”

With the gold rate soaring this 7 days, she explained several purchasers are searching to invest in sensibly.

“They devote in gold bangles, gold bullion, bars, and gold cash,” she suggests. 

“Sentimental things are also common proper now, jewellery [as gifts] for their daughters, sons, and wives. 

“People are personalising bracelets and necklaces with household names.”

‘This Eid is really sad’

Sharing sweet treats these types of as cakes and biscuits throughout Eid al-Adha is also a custom. 

Reem Alameddine, who runs the house-based mostly baking company Sweet Treats by Reem, says product sales are considerably down on final calendar year.

Reem Alameddine makes cakes and cookies at home.

Reem Alameddine makes cakes and cookies at residence.


“With COVID-19, business has slowed down,” the 33-calendar year-aged says at her home in Condell Park, south west of Sydney.

“I’d say probably 50 % of what I typically would make. People today aren’t having the big gatherings … so they’re not purchasing as a lot.”

Ms Alameddine was born in Sydney’s west to Lebanese mom and dad, who migrated to Australia for better possibilities. 

“This Eid is unquestionably fairly sad and complicated, mainly because we like to devote it with our extended family,” she suggests. 

“My small children like to see their grandparents, but we will have a more compact accumulating which is not what Eid is all about.

“Since food is a big element of helping families rejoice, I am stamping my cookies with ‘Eid Mubarak’, to remind households to rejoice even while we are not able to be collectively in huge teams.”

Cakes and biscuits are traditionally served during Eid al-Adha.

Cakes and biscuits are traditionally served throughout Eid al-Adha.


Ms Alameddine commonly operates a stall at the yearly ‘Eidshow’ in Bankstown which was cancelled this yr. 

All over 80,000 persons had been expected to visit this weekend.

“Thousands of people are influenced by this. My spouse and children and lots of other people definitely seem ahead to that show,” she said.

Hajj impacted

Muslim households in Australia are also impacted by bans on pilgrimages to this year’s Hajj.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia are keen to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19 through the five-day pilgrimage in which up to two million men and women are involved.

Ms Alameddine’s spouse Fouad took section in the once-a-year ritual previous 12 months.

“It’s truly sad for us. This is a time when we celebrate pilgrims at Hajj, and their arrival residence after Hajj,” he claims. 

Fouad and Reem Alameddine are raising their children in the Islamic faith.

Fouad and Reem Alameddine are boosting their little ones in the Islamic religion.


“It is very upsetting for the neighborhood and for our relatives and mates, not to be able to rejoice together. 

“For my family and little ones, I will attempt to raise their spirits as a lot as achievable,” Ms Alameddine says.

“I will make the celebrations a minor bit even bigger and put out more sweets and lollies just to check out and compensate, even nevertheless it’s not the similar this 12 months.” 

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Australian Muslims will celebrate ‘festival of sacrifice’ Eid al-Adha in isolation amid coronavirus pandemic

Eid al-Adha, also known as the ‘festival of sacrifice’, is a busy time for many Islamic community centres around the country, as large groups of people gather for morning prayer, followed by sharing foods and sweets.

It is considered one of the largest Islamic festivals of the year — lasting three days starting Friday — even larger than Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month earlier in the year.

Muslims usually celebrate the occasion with their friends, family and community, and by donating food and supplies to charity and people in need.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to rethink the way they celebrate the festival this year.

Volunteers at the Islamic Pillars of Guidance Community Centre (PGCC) in Melbourne’s south-east have come up with a project that “adapts to the current climate”.

“We thought rather than having a celebration, which of course we can’t … we decided to give back to the community,” said Abdullah Himimi, a volunteer at PGCC.

This year, the centre has decided to distribute gifts ahead of Eid in a way they haven’t done before: via a drive-through.

Two people are putting a box in an opened car boot
Families receiving donation hampers don’t need to get out of the car.(Supplied: PGCC)

On Tuesday night, volunteers passed hampers filled with essential foods, including rice and oil, hand sanitisers, masks, lollies and toys to families through car windows and boots.

He said at least 150 families had registered to receive Eid hampers this year, including many who are not eligible for the Government’s JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments.

“People tell us … ‘I’m a single mom, I take care of my children, I take care of my parents, and I’ve got no support from the Government.’ That really motivates us [to do this],” Mr Himimi said.

A man carryting a box and walking to a parked car
The hampers are filled with masks, hand sanitisers and essential foods, including rice and oil.(Supplied: PGCC)

Mr Himimi added the wider community, not just Muslims, also donated and participated in the project.

“And a Eid drive-through is just a new way to do it without losing its meaning.”

‘Show our sacrifice by following the laws’

A group photos of siblings with balloons and light decorations at the background
Kauthar Abdulalim (sitting on the right) said there is a deeper meaning of sacrifice on Eid al-Adha.(Supplied: Sara Mohamed photography)

Melbourne resident Kauthar Abdulalim remembers spending Eid al-Adha at her grandparents’ house during her childhood in Kenya, where hundreds of people lined up to receive food portions and donations.

While the celebration now happens on a much smaller scale in Australia, her family usually invites relatives and friends over the night before to get intricate henna designs painted on their hands.

“We also prepare special clothes … my mom would be cooking some special dishes which she makes only a few times a year,” Ms Abdulalim said.

Eid al-Adha is a significant day for Muslims because it commemorates Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on God’s command.

According to Islamic teaching, Abraham was eventually given a lamb to sacrifice, therefore Muslims perpetuate the tradition by slaughtering a lamb or a cow and sharing the meat with people in need.

Eid al-Adha also marks the end of hajj — the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia — which is one of Islamic teaching pillars.

But for many Muslims in Australia, including Ms Abdulalim, the festival is more than just about slaughtering animals.

Ms Abdulalim told the ABC sacrificing animals was symbolic and there was actually a “deeper meaning”, particularly during the stage three lockdown in Melbourne.

“Sacrificing [our] time with the community … is going to be sad and difficult, but obviously we are doing it for the greater good of our whole Australian society.”

Ms Abdulalim added many Muslims working in essential services also couldn’t take the day off to spend Eid with their families at home.

“They have to also sacrifice and just continue being out there fighting this pandemic and doing whatever they can in their capacity … to help the wider Australian society.”

In a message to the Muslim community leading up to Eid, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also thanked the community for “understanding and efforts at this difficult time”.

Message from PM Morrison.jpg
Scott Morrison’s Eid al-Adha message to the Muslim community.(Supplied: Al Wasat)

‘Reach out to your neighbours’

Earlier this month, Melbourne’s Muslim community expressed their concerns over how they had been “unfairly tarnished” by media reports linking Eid celebrations in late May to rising COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) had warned against scapegoating the Muslim community, but also urged the community to continue to adhere to health advice during the festival.

“We need to adhere to the advice from our medical professional and health authority,” Mohamed Mohideen, President of ICV, told the ABC.

“Our beloved Prophet Muhammad said, ‘If you hear there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it [a plague] visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it,'” he said, referring to minimising physical contacts during pandemic.

Mr Mohideen also emphasised the importance of keeping communities united during the pandemic, since unity and sharing are part of the fundamental aspects from the hajj ritual.

“We should be able to come together and work towards the common goal of helping one another and the wider Australian community,” he said.

“Reach out your neighbours. It does not matter what faith they practice, just call or chat over the fence [and see] how they are doing.”

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