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Muslims end Ramadan, begin holiday amid war, reconciliation

The end of Ramadan and the start of Eid-Al-Fitr was marked by battling factions in the Sudanese military, leading to two attempted ceasefires. In Yemen, a fatal stampede broke out during the celebrations, leaving 78 people dead and 77 injured. However, the Al-Fitr period brought both reconciliation and rapprochement between some former rivals in the Middle East, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, who, despite an ongoing disagreement over the start of the holiday, have been working to restore diplomatic ties, minimize proxy wars and free prisoners. The moon sighting also varied by location, so some countries, including Indonesia, relied on astronomical calculations for the start of Eid-Al-Fitr, whilst others relied on the sighting of the new moon, leading to varied start dates. During the holiday season, millions were expected to travel across the Indonesian archipelago, leading the country’s Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud to appeal for respect and consideration towards Muslims who were still fasting. Similarly, clerics of Pakistan’s moon sighting committee have confirmed Eid-Al-Fitr will start for them on Saturday as there were no sightings of the moon in the area. Iran and Saudi Arabia disagreed on the start of the holiday, with Saudi Arabia’s beginning on Friday, and officials in Iran declaring it started on Saturday. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Iraq seek to celebrate the start of Eid-Al-Fitr on Friday, whilst Lebanon and Syria confirm the same date, despite ongoing economic challenges.

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