Eid Mubarak, But When?
by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer
Celebratory preparations are underway for Eid ul-Fitr, a multi-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Eid ul-Fitr (also known as Eid al-Fitr) officially begins with the sighting of the new crescent moon. There’s been controversy and confusion leading up to this year’s Eid festivities about when the holiday starts. Some countries like India and Pakistan won’t see a new moon until Wednesday, August 31st while stargazers in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East will be able to see the sliver of a crescent moon on Tuesday, August 30th. The Saudi Supreme Court made a late-breaking decision that Eid will begin on Tuesday. According to The Washington Post, it’s customary for many countries to follow Saudi Arabia’s example as it’s home to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
Are you celebrating Eid ul-Fitr this year? What do you have planned for your Eid celebration?
About the image: a Thai Muslim man uses binoculars to spot the moon on the eve of the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in Thailand’s southern province of Yala on August 29, 2011. (photo: Muhammad Sabri/AFP/Getty Images)
Africa Looks Positive, Sweden Not So Much
by Shubha Bala, associate producer
Nicholas Kristof said during his interview with Krista that he worries about constantly painting Africa in a negative light and recognizes there is a lot of good work taking place too. In this video from the TEDxChange conference, Hans Rosling, professor and co-founder of GapMinder, presented numbers in a new way to demonstrate the great progress being made in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In fact, his breakdown of child mortality (minute 11:00) shows that if the MDG expectations were applied to Sweden from the 1800s, Sweden would have been considered a failure.
And another little gem: I found the humorous speech by the founder of the Population and Community Development Association (minute 46:00) to be a fascinating overview of Thailand’s progress. He describes how inclusive methods led to a decrease in the average family size from 7 children to 1.5 in under three decades, and more recently, a reduction in HIV cases by 90 percent.
In the screen shot (right), Mechai Viravaidya at the TEDxChange holding up his future Olympic logo idea promoting condoms.
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
This “Pic of the Day” from The First Post is one of the more ethereal images I’ve seen in some time. Yeah, I know, it’s from late December but my consumption of the RSS feed occurs incrementally.
Kome Loy are lightweight lanterns that act like a hot-air balloons. A small bowl containing oil and a cotton cloth is centrally anchored to the lantern’s edges. When the oil starts burning, the hot air fills the paper envelope and rises into the air. Before launching the lantern, a person prays for the bad luck to be carried away into the sky.