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DOHA: Eid Al Fitr being celebrated today after a month of fasting has brought cheers to Muslims but the jubilation would have been greater had the festival not fallen right in the middle of the month as the bread-winners of middle-income families have yet to get salaries.
This is particularly true of expatriate families in limited income brackets who are solely dependent on the monthly wages of their heads for household expenses.
Since Ramadan also entailed additional expenses and Eid coming right after, many limited income families say they must manage with whatever little savings are left with.
When told that private companies should have paid salaries before Eid, Qatar Chamber, representative body of the private sector, briefly said the time for salary payments is just two or three days before Eid.
“There is still much time for the August salary to be paid to employees,” was how the Chamber’s vice-chairman, Mohamed bin Ahmed Tawar Al Kuwari, reacted.
However, prominent businessman Ahmed Al Khalaf said companies should have had some consideration about the festival and if nothing, they should have paid at least half the month’s salary.
Since most people are dependent on salaries and Eid entails a lot of expenditure companies should have been considerate, he told The Peninsula.
Meanwhile, many in the Qatari and expatriate communities, including families, left yesterday for overseas destinations to spend Eid holidays, travel agency sources said.
However, a large number of people are expected to leave tomorrow, the second day of Eid. “We have more bookings for Monday rather than Saturday or Sunday,” a travel trade source said.
Dubai is the most favoured destination for most Qatari families followed by Morocco and Thailand, while younger holiday-makers seem to prefer Turkey.
And, as for the weather, this being August, it will continue to be hot, including of course, today, on the first day of Eid Al Fitr, and on the remaining two days with day temperatures peaking at 45 degrees Celsius, forecasters said yesterday.
For all the three Eid days, the maximum temperatures forecast by the Meteorology Department is 45 degrees Celsius and humidity levels at between 15 and 65 percent.
Although north-westerly winds with an expected speed of 10 to 20 knots and relatively lower humidity levels (between 15 and 60 percent) could provide some relief to people from the scorching sun.
The sunrise being at 5.08am, it would be sunny today by the time the devout gather minutes later in open grounds and enclosed venues like large mosques to offer Eid prayers.