School vacations make it convenient for them to take part in celebrations
Festivities are always awaited with bated breath. But Kaleem Quraishi and Rafath Shahnaz, being NRIs, have another reason to feel happy about. They can celebrate Id-ul-Fitr with their families, a thing they couldn't do always.
They are among several expatriate families who have flown down from Saudi Arabia to Hyderabad in time to catch the Ramzan festive mood.
With schools in Saudi Arabia being closed for month-long Ramzan vacation, a large number of Saudi-based Hyderabadis are returning home to celebrate the Id with family and friends. The closure of schools in the Kingdom has coincided with Ramzan and many Hyderabadis settled there are making most of the opportunity to return home for Id.
Everyday scores of Hyderabadis are flying home through Saudi Airlines, Air India and other airlines. A good number of families are also coming from UAE, Doha in Qatar, and Bahrain where too educational institutions are shut down for Ramzan.
“Earlier, we couldn't come home for Id as the International Indian School in Dammam used to give summer holidays just four days before Id”, says Ms. Shahnaz, who is happy to celebrate Id with her parents. Of late, all the schools in Saudi Arabia like British International School, Indian Embassy School, and Yara International School are giving vacation before the month of fasting begins following a directive from the Saudi government. However, some prefer to stay put in Saudi Arabia and spend time with their parents who are there for ‘Umra'.
Still some choose to holiday in Europe and other countries. A good number fancy spending greater part of Ramzan at the grand mosques in Makkah or Madina and return to Hyderabad for Id, it is said.
The Saudi Airlines which operates four flights per week from Hyderabad to Jeddah has all the seats booked in September as the Hyderabadis return to the Kingdom. “Per week we fly about 1,200 passengers in four flights and all of them are booked,” says Ifthekhar Ahmed, manager, Saudi Airlines.
So, it's not just Id, but a grand get-together for several families this Ramzan.