DOHA: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has asked imams who would lead Eid Al Fitr prayers this morning to restrict their sermons to 15 minutes.
The restriction is apparently because of the hot and humid weather as many prayer venues are open grounds. The Ministry has designated 304 venues for the 5.15am Eid prayers across the country, with 31 of them having separate arrangements for women. Of these 31 places, only two are shaded as they are mosques (the Grand Mosque and Al Ansar Mosque in Al Mansoura).
Besides women, children and elderly also turn out for the prayers. During Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, sermons are delivered after the prayers, while on Fridays the sermon is given by the imams before the prayers. The Ministry said in its message to the imams: “Please stick to the timing of the prayers that begin at 5.15am and the duration for the sermon allotted is 15 minutes”. According to the weather bureau, the sun will rise at 5.01am today — before the prayer begins. The Peninsula
“We are unable to meet relatives and friends the whole year so Eid is the time when we can catch up with them,” said Khalil. “For vacationing I go to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia or to a GCC country.” Yet another elderly person, Ahmed Mohamed said when he was young he used to visit Europe and America. “Now I prefer to remain at home during Eid holidays”.
According to Rashid Al Mansouri, the main reason why people are travelling overseas is the harsh weather here.
Mohamed Saleh, though, said a lack of entertainment facilities in Qatar was mainly driving people to Europe.
Quoting hotel officials, another local Arabic daily reported that GCC tourists were the main contributors to the large hotel occupancy in Qatar round-the-year.
Some GCC families prefer to come here for vacationing since they find the place ‘clean’, said a senior official of a hotel.
GCC tourists have gradually been increasing here in numbers. Earlier, they contributed some 10 to 12 percent of hotel occupancy and now the ratio had gone up substantially, another hotel official told the daily.