People lament lack of festive atmosphere during Eid celebrations

Some Afghans from various provinces reported a lackluster start to Eid al-Fitr, noting that the festival was less joyful compared to previous years. They attributed the subdued atmosphere to Taliban-imposed restrictions and rising poverty, which have cast a shadow over the political and social future and curbed enthusiasm for festive occasions.

Residents of Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh, Herat, and Ghor told Amu, a local news source, that the Taliban had disrupted telecommunication networks in their provinces for several hours during the holiday. “Due to the poor economic situation, there is no joy in celebrating Eid, and people are not happy due to the ongoing restrictions, especially against women and girls, who are particularly affected by the prevailing conditions,” stated Khalda, a Kabul resident.

On the first day of Eid, internet services were also sporadically unavailable across various provinces. The reasons for these outages remain unclear, as neither Taliban officials nor telecommunication companies have provided explanations.

“Eid days are supposed to be joyful, but this year’s Eid felt different from previous ones. We did not experience the same festive environment as last year,” said Hadiya Bahar, another Afghan citizen. “In fact, we started the first day of Eid with anxiety after SIM cards were deactivated for about an hour, which caused concern for everyone.”

In its Eid message, the European Union Delegation wished for “peaceful and joyous Eid celebrations” and reaffirmed its support for a prosperous Afghanistan. Similarly, UN Women in Afghanistan highlighted their “commitment to standing behind Afghan women and girls in their struggle for rights.”

Eid, the principal Muslim holiday, is celebrated worldwide within the Muslim community. In Afghanistan, traditional celebrations include visiting relatives’ homes and enjoying tables laden with dry and fresh fruits.