Thousands of Muslim shoppers thronged Mogadishu’s main markets as preparations for the forthcoming Eid Ul Adha celebrations are on course.
Business at Bakara, Ba’aad and Hamarweyne markets as well as retail shops were booming as locals trooped in to buy goods in preparation for the Idd.
“The congestion of the customers started at 6am today and I have been trying hard to convince our customers to remain calm,” said Mohamed Ali Mohamed, who sells shoes at Ba’aad market.
Mothers walk hand in hand with their children, others even carry their infant babies around. The shopping has to be done and nothing is taken lightly. Some of the older children get to pick their own clothes, because come Eid day the fashion showdown is on!
A parent, Sa’adia Farah said her children (two daughters ) were excited about the celebrations.
“I have bought clothes and shoes for all my children. I will have to look for something for myself,” she said as she went on rummaging through a pile of clothes.
The business boom has seen some scrupulous businessmen raise the price of erstwhile cheaper items to capitalize on the high demand.
Mrs Muumina Ali, who came to buy new clothes for children, complained of skyrocketing prices especially for ladies and children wears.
“Children’s clothes are extremely expensive. Imagine I have ended up spending nearly $ 200 just to purchase sets of clothes for three of my daughters,” she said.
She added: “Before this month, women dresses were retailing between $ 50 and $70 but the price has now been raised to between $150 and $200. It is a shame that fellow Muslims are taking advantage of this festivals to hike prices without considering the poor.”
However, traders blamed the price rise on their commodities to the drastic depreciation of the Somali shilling against foreign currencies notably the dollar.
“We have also been hit hard by depreciation of the shilling. We have to do some adjustments to mitigate losses,” said Mr Musa Adan, a trader in Bakaro.
Traders, just like their counter parts in other towns in Somalia are counting their profits after realizing increased sales due to the Eid-ul-Adha festival.
These first ten days of this month are very important to Muslims worldwide.
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, or the Hajj, is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for the Muslim who is able to fulfill it (regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, social or economic status) and is one of the five pillars of Islam. It’s performed at the same time every year during the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijja (based on a lunar calendar).