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Left to right: Girl, Boy, Baby


Stories of Eid: The Zahran Sisters

With the excitement of Eid drawing ever closer, we’ve invited some of our Childrensalon friends to share their tales about this very special time of year. Our first story comes from Dubai-based sisters Rima and Dina Zahran who are fashion content creators and designers, known for their innate sense of style and love of family life. Both mothers of three, the sisters talk with great warmth and nostalgia of their own experiences of Eid, growing up in Spain and later Dubai.

Memories of treasure hunts and being allowed to skip school in Marbella to celebrate, light up their faces and it’s easy to picture them as little girls, as they describe eating Oreos and milk in the small hours to prepare for Ramadan and revelling in the Eid outfits laid out by their mother. Taking their cues from traditions passed down through generations of their Palestinian family and the magical Eid celebrations of their childhood, the sisters now take great delight in seeing their own children celebrating the festival together.

22 Feb 2023

Talking to us online from their homes, Rima turns a sparkling David Charles clutch over in her perfectly manicured hands — just one of the beautiful pieces that she has chosen from Childrensalon for her daughter — and tells us proudly, “The children get on really well together and they have that older cousin–younger cousin relationship which is so sweet." Her younger sister Dina adds, “My daughter Haya really looks up to her oldest cousin Maha. It’s lovely because it reminds me so much of the dynamic we had between us as sisters and the age gap is exactly the same. It's really, really cute.” Looking at the photographs of Rima's daughter Maha (11), her sons Mohammed (10) and Omar (7), flying around the garden with Dina's kids Haya (6), Seif (4) and baby Layla, it's clear to see how much they enjoy each other's company. And we can't wait to hear about the Eid traditions they love, their family approach to Ramadan and how dressing up for the big day is an integral part of the proceedings.

Family Ramadan

We can’t really talk about Eid without first asking you about Ramadan. How do you navigate this month-long period of daylight fasting and how do the kids get involved?  


Rima: When you’re fasting, the sense of gratitude is huge. Simple things like grabbing a bottle of water, cannot be taken for granted and we’re reminded how lucky we are to have the luxuries that so many don’t. My older kids have already started fasting. Last year, I said to my daughter, “No, it's not going to happen,” but when I saw how much it meant to her, I agreed to fasting on one day of the weekend and then my son started to do it too. The meaning isn’t lost on them at all. Just before sunset, we always get a bunch of change and supermarket meals and we go around the neighbourhoods giving them out to anyone who might need them and the kids love that.


Dina: What I love about Ramadan is the fact that we tend to see our family more often. Everything seems to slow down so once or twice a week we'll go to my mum's to eat together. It's the evening and there's school the next day, so the kids come in their pyjamas, already showered and ready for bed.


What do you look forward to having the most when Ramadan is over?


Rima: Coffee!


Dina: Yes, because when we break our fast in the evening, it’s too late for coffee — well, too late for me — so we don't have it for a month.


Rima: The morning coffee on the first day of Eid. That’s priceless!



And what about the kids? What Eid treats do they really look forward to?


Rima: They really look forward to eating Maamoul, which are delicious traditional Palestinian Eid cookies made with semolina flour and filled with dates or pistachios. Obviously, we've never been to Palestine, but these recipes have been passed down from our grandparents to our parents and we’re now passing them onto our children.



Outfit Picks For The Boys

Celebrating Eid

Talk us through your typical Eid celebrations from the morning when you get up.


Dina: First of all, there's the early morning Eid prayer, which the men usually go to. I've been a couple of times, as in my husband's family, the tradition is that the whole family goes. After that we have our own family unit Eid. When Rima and I were little, we'd have a treasure hunt, so we’ve continued that too. I write little hints and clues to help them find their gifts and it’s really fun. Then we start getting ready and we put on our fanciest outfits…

Rima: That’s one of the best parts. We'll have been shopping for the outfits for the kids for around two weeks. It’s a big deal. You need the shoes, you need the bow-tie, you need the headband... It’s something we've been doing ever since I can remember.


Dina: When we were kids we lived in Spain and our parents would take us out of school for Eid. We'd always have school off no matter what and our mum would dress us beautifully. Once we're all ready, we all go to my parents’ house and have a huge Eid lunch where we give gifts and money to the kids. Everyone gets really dressed up and we take tons of pictures. We're not going anywhere; we're just spending time together - we really dress up for each other and to celebrate the moment.


Rima: The kids are really the main focus. One hundred percent.


Dina: Looking back, before kids, we definitely celebrated but it's not the same as when you see it through your kids’ eyes. I'm sure it's the same with Christmas. It's a whole other experience.



Dressing Up

Do you tend to choose your children’s Eid outfits with them or do you keep it a surprise?


Dina: When it comes to clothes, my daughter is one of the pickiest humans on Earth! Everything seems to bother her and she'll be so fussy about the smallest thing, like a zipper in the wrong place, and then she just won't wear it. She absolutely will not wear it. This year, she's getting a bit more into it so, thankfully, she's more into dresses but I have to do a dress rehearsal. If she tries it on and it's comfortable, we're good to go. The other two are much easier. My son loves clothes. So, the idea of a tux and a bow-tie, he actually likes it. And my youngest is still at the age where I can dress her how I want. 


Rima: My daughter doesn't wear a lot of dresses but she loves Eid shopping and the dress we've chosen from Childrensalon Occasions is so Maha, elegant and simple but with a lot of character.



Do the children get excited about what they’re going to wear?


Rima: They get so excited, but within 20 minutes of being in them, they’re trying to get out of them! They throw off their shoes and they roll up their pants but they still look smart. That's why we've photographed them without shoes in some of the pictures to make it feel more authentic. 

Outfit Picks For The Girls

How important are the accessories when it comes to putting together an outfit?

Rima: Traditionally you give money at Eid, so my father always gives money to all the grandchildren, and then the older kids give some to the younger ones and so on, and it’s really cute. Then all the kids are counting their money and saying, "Mum, can you look after this?" So having a bag like this one for Eid is really important because that’s where all the cash goes. Boys have pockets but girls really need a bag!  


All images by Dina and Rima



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