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Youtube sensations, the Khaldi twins, explain ‘why Eid is special’ from Gaza City

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“Eid is special”– “and we will tell you why,” say 20-year old bloggers and twin sisters from Gaza City, Asmaa and Saja Khaldi, otherwise known as the “Khaldi twins.” The pair posted a video greeting on Sunday of how they and other Palestinians celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha which occurred over the weekend.

Eid is a holy day–Eid al-Adha, literally “feast of the sacrifice” commemorating the Quranic story of God sparing Ibrahim’s son Ismail from sacrifice (Abraham and Ishmael in other monotheistic traditions). But the Khaldi twins explain Eid is more than prayer and religious practices, “You dress prettily unlike your daily pajamas”–“The aromatic smell of Arabian coffee that you keep drinking all of the days.”

Part of the charm of the Khaldi twins is that they are upbeat. They seem to genuinely excited to share their lives in Gaza with the outside world, and it is delightful to watch their energy. All of their videos are posted in English and often are filmed in their home, sometimes with bit roles for family members and friends on the streets.

After the twins posted their video, it was shared on social media by Palestinian news outlets. It has been viewed 29,000 times. For a little more on the twins and their project, take a look at the Khaldi Twins “Introduction” video:

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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18 Responses

  1. philweiss on September 6, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Thanks for this report, Allison. Along with Ahmad Karabiti’s incredible report (below) on teen girls trying to live full lives in Gaza, this story makes clear that Gazans ARE communicating with the world despite unthinkable hardship and that their pleasures and aspirations are not different from young Americans’. Why can’t the mainstream media convey the hard truths of the siege?

    • just on September 6, 2017, 5:09 pm

      Great comment, Phil.

      Thanks so much for introducing us to Asmaa and Saja Khaldi, Allison. They radiate such joy.

      I posted this on Ahmad Karabiti’s great report a couple of days ago. It stands in stark contrast to your offering:

      “I just read this @ Haaretz by Muhammad Shehada:

      “Opinion ‘All the Colors Have Been Washed Out of Our Celebrations’: My Family’s Eid in Gaza

      My mother spent two days cleaning and baking maamoul on her own, then waited for a knock on our door. But none came. After years of the blockade and its privations, those who are left won’t visit empty-handed – and they have nothing to bring …

      On top of the day-to-day hardships that Gaza’s people face there’s other, painful losses born of that hardship threaten to become irreversible: the social and cultural ties between its people. There’s only one clear and simple way to save Gaza from losing its social cohesion: Open the borders, rather than finding reasons to keep them closed. Those ‘reasons’ have no evident justification apart from punishing the entire population of Gaza.”

      read more:

      • Marnie on September 7, 2017, 2:26 am

        Haven’t the crimes of the zionist occupation piled up high enough to reach heaven, if there is such a place, it’s habitation to angels and the almighty?

    • Marnie on September 7, 2017, 2:39 am

      My fear is that the resat of the world would look at this video and think, what’s the problem? They’re happy, they’re celebrating! Like someone looking at a person defined as living in poverty and that person is obese. Not hard to understand the obesity when most people knows if you don’t have access to a grocery store, fresh fruit and veg, etc., that the cheap garbage is what you have to buy and it makes you fat, not healthy or nourished. When I watched this the first time I forgot I was looking at Gaza and that’s not good. Maybe that’s just me though and maybe most people would look at the Khaldi twins and see beyond their radiant smiles………..

      • amigo on September 8, 2017, 3:55 pm

        “Not that. What is it then? I am trying to think but it’s not coming to me.”Emet (Jews are the chosen People ).

        As one of the chosen ones , why do you need to think about it.Don,t you already know.

        Check Emet,s archives , it is his personal memorial to the myth that Jews are the chosen people.

    • Emet on September 8, 2017, 11:21 am

      What does “unthinkable hardship” mean exactly? Let me think. “No water?”. Can’t be that. “No food?”. Can’t be that either. “Torture from those Israeli soldiers”. No, not that. “Being raped on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, once a decade, once a millennium?” Not that. What is it then? I am trying to think but it’s not coming to me.

      • Mooser on September 8, 2017, 1:26 pm

        “What does “unthinkable hardship” mean exactly?… I am trying to think but it’s not coming to me.”

        “Emet”, you must know, we are depending on you. Only us Jews have experienced “unthinkable hardship”, so only we have a right to define it! We have the unthinkable hardship market sewn up!
        If we don’t insist on our standard for unthinkable hardship, all kinds of complainers will take it away from us.
        Concentrate hard, and it’ll come to you.

      • Marnie on September 8, 2017, 2:09 pm

        Your post was exactly what I was talking about. How can you be that dense?

      • Emet on September 9, 2017, 3:36 pm

        Stop talking in the clouds already. Come down to earth and tell us, “What is unthinkable hardship in the Gaza context?” Is it that the Khaldi twins have been forced to learn English, or is it the Hamas are using the concrete meant for the good of the general population, on terror tunnels?

      • Mooser on September 9, 2017, 7:10 pm

        “Hamas.. terror tunnels?”

        Go back to sleep “Emet”

      • RoHa on September 9, 2017, 8:17 pm


        The Return Of The Terror Tunnels!

      • Mooser on September 10, 2017, 1:22 pm

        “What is unthinkable hardship in the Gaza context?”

        Well, all you have to do is compare it with the unthinkable hardships faced by Jews, and then Gaza can be assigned it’s proper percentage.
        Where would you put that percentage, “Emet”? You oughta know.

  2. JosephA on September 7, 2017, 12:49 am

    Wow, finally something full of joy to share from the world’s largest prison. May more positivity flow from Gaza, especially when the siege / blockade is lifted.

  3. Marnie on September 7, 2017, 2:11 am

    This video wasn’t made for my pleasure per se, but it was such a privilege to watch and be invited into the lives of these beautiful young women for a few minutes. I look forward to seeing more of the Khaldi Twins! Thank you so much – brightened my day!! Shukran and Eid Mubarak!

  4. rhkroell on September 7, 2017, 9:08 am

    “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.” — See also : /Users/cyberspacelab/Desktop/Quote.2.webarchive

  5. Kathleen on September 10, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Thanks for this. Delightful, informative with a creative twist.

  6. Ossinev on September 10, 2017, 1:46 pm

    “Go back to sleep “Emet”

    Be fair. It must be difficult for him to sleep what with all those years of bespoke Anti – Semitic unthinkable hardship which he personally has gone through and poor soul is still going through no doubt.

    • Mooser on September 10, 2017, 5:41 pm

      “Ossinev”, there’s no suffering like Zionist suffering. It’s like no suffering I know.

      And hey, I gotta say it, the Zionist sense of discretion, that is when to open your mouth and what to say when you do, is exquisite! But of course, that’s the kind of social sense we have to develop to survive.

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