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Tajikistan Pamiris Welcome Eid-ul Fitr Amidst Repression

Paris, Brussels (21/04 – 50)

Pamiri Muslims in Tajikistan, who mostly are followers of the Ismaili branch of Shi’ism, celebrate  Eid ul Fitr on Saturday. Residing in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) in southeastern Tajikistan, the Ismaili Pamiris welcomed Eid-ul Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan holy month of fasting, despite the continued repression and oppression campaign launched by the central government regime in Dushanbe.

There were many previous military and militia interventions since the end of the civil war (1992-1997) targeting the Pamiris who struggle to maintain their own identity and autonomy in the region.

Under the leadership of the Aga Khan as their spiritual leader, the Ismailis are concentrated in the Badakhshan historical region, which includes the GBAO in Tajikistan, Badakhshan province in Afghanistan and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in Kashgar prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.

Ismailis all over the world also celebrate Eid-ul Fitri in other countries and regions, such as those in Central Asia, Pakistan, India, the Levant, Iran, the Gulf countries, East Africa, as well as the North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

Eid ul Fitr is an occasion of peace, happiness, joy, and festivity after one month of fasting. The celebration itself can range from one day up to three days.

An Eid ul Fitr celebration usually includes an Eid mass prayer in the morning that is followed by a sermon. Fasting is forbidden during the day of Eid-ul Fitr. After the sermon, devotees usually hold family reunion and visit their relatives as well as neighbors asking for forgiveness.

Some Ismaili communities invited not only congregation members but also leaders of other faiths and local figures to Eid-ul Fitr celebrations to promote diversity and multiculturalism.

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