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Grand Mosque Set To Receive Faithful
July 9, 2013, 9:36 am
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Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs has officially received the Grand Mosque from the Amiri Diwan following renovations and is ready to receive worshippers in the holy month of Ramadan, it was announced here Monday. The Amiri Diwan has already revamped the Grand Mosque upon instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Shareeda Al-Muosherji. The Minister expressed keenness of the Ministry of Awqaf in offering an Islamic atmosphere for worshippers during the month of Ramadan, adding that it (ministry) is in continuous coordination with state institutions and ministries to prepare for this holy month.
 
The Ministry has already prepared mosques and Ramadan centers in all the six governorates, he noted.
Meanwhile, the total cost of the Grand Mosque renovation amounts to KD 5.25 million and it took three months and half to be ready, said head of the Grand Mosque renovation commission, Undersecretary for financial, administrative and staff affairs at the Amiri Diwan, Abdul-Aziz Ishak said. Ishak told KUNA in a statement that Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, Awqaf Minister and top officials in the ministry visited the mosque and inspected the renovation work earlier today.
 
 
Tradition
As the Islamic Hijri month of Shaaban slowly comes to a close, welcoming the subsequent month of Ramadan, Kuwaitis are keen to revive the local popular social tradition, Graish day, when people celebrate their last meal before the arrival of the month of fasting. During this day family members come together at the senior family member home, usually the grandparents’, carrying home-made foods prepared beforehand. However, with the modernisation of the Kuwaiti post-oil society many changes have occurred to this tradition. For one, meals are becoming larger with international foods being added to the local ones, which once dominated this social event. Once restricted to home-made platters, delivery from hotels and fine diners have also been introduced.
 
The once secluded family affair has also taken a new dimension, with a broader participation of an all-guests welcome policy, where these events are advertised via social networking sites and apps like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Despite the routine of a daily fast-paced life, several Kuwaitis have underlined Graish as an important event on their annual calendars, stressing the importance of maintaining such traditions and noting to their significance to family bonding.
 
 
Umm Saad Al-Senafi, a Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and mother, said that Graish, once was restricted to women or family members, used to be limited to leftover foods, often fish. The much younger Ghalia Al-Issa, a university student, views otherwise. She had agreed with her friends to book a hall at a luxury hotel for the occasion she described as “special.” “Nowadays Graish has become an ordeal which takes planning, processing, and preparation to mark the occasion,” she said.
 
“This tradition has become exaggerated and very expensive,” says father Saad Khalaf. Companies have started to target customers during the last days of Shaaban and the event has taken a commercial dimension, whereby foods sold for the occasion are even packaged, he said. But, Khalaf agrees that, despite his negative view, Graish remains a social bonding event where family members gather, eat, and chitchat in anticipation for the holy month.
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