These pictures of kids in Gaza celebrating the end of Ramadan stopped me in my tracks this morning. The celebration, Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, the 30-day period of daylight abstinence from food and drink observed by Muslims. It's a three-day "festival of the fast-breaking," a joyous time to visit friends and relatives and to give to those in need ensuring that everyone will have a holiday meal — especially important this year as more and more feel financial woes.
The kids in these pictures are clearly having a great time, celebrating the end of the fast, but the guns. Oh, the guns give more than a little pause. While yes, kids have played cops and robbers since the beginning of time (give or take) the adult way these children handle the weapons suggests the real cost of their turbulent environment. A study showed that a crushing 98 percent of children in Gaza have experienced or witnessed war trauma. Most children, who number almost half of the residents of Gaza, have been tear-gassed, had their homes searched, or seen shootings and explosions. No wonder they seem so at home with their arsenal.
It makes me want to replace those guns with some Basboosa (a traditional post-Ramadan dessert made with semolina and yogurt, soaked in a rose water syrup.) That would certainly be sweeter.