Friday, October 26, 2012


I've always thought of Adha as a day of celebration, but of what? All I have ever thought of were the fireworks and the maamoul, the gorgeous date cookies of the occasion.

The 247square team met up and threw random ideas to celebrate the essence of this Eid. We wanted to engage people in acts of gratefulness, through finding the many things they should be grateful for. Adha's core is all about sacrifice. It is not about the facades of sacrificing a sheep or some money in the name of this day. The sacrifice in its true form comes at all times, is not limited to this day, and most importantly, is not forced upon you by traditions you might not fully understand.

Maybe one true meaning we might all still celebrate during this day and many other occasions is familial bonds. Many of us barely see our family all year long, but many do see them on such occasions.

We take our family members for granted. It is my mom’s job to get me medicine when I am sick. It is such a casual thing for my dad to skip his early sleep to pick me up when I am late and I have no ride back home. It is my little brother’s duty to get me my bag that is a few inches away from me yet a few meters away from him. And it is my sister’s fault if she went to bed early. I do not have to lower my voice so that she enjoys her sleep.

Now, that doesn’t sound right. And to specify a day to say thank you to your family and friends and beloved ones for being who they are is not enough. But it is a start. If you celebrate one’s birthday on one day, does not mean you were unhappy of his existence the rest of the year (or I would like to assume so at least when it is my birthday). Celebrating Adha should be our way to step back, and look around at all the things being done for us, with no expectation of a return.

I am the last one to speak of this. But I can be among the first to actually do what I am speaking of. The team of 247 square finally decided to go for something simple this time. We designed a series of patterns inspired by Adha, printed them on cards, and distributed them in many sweets places, cafes and other areas around Beirut and other regions in Lebanon so that anybody can go pick a free card – or 10 – and write a small thank you note to someone who sacrificed for you. It might sound easy, even useless. Though, as cheesy as this may sound, saying thank you or I love you, might actually be the hardest. And once said, it should become easier in words and hopefully in practice too.

Happy and Blessed Adha to you all.

written by Alaa Kabalan
edited by Zeina Shaaban

designers on this project
Anastasia Matar, Zeina Shaaban, Izzat Kreidieh, Layla Smaili, Salwa Faour and Alaa Kabalan
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