Muslims mark end of Ramadan with Eid celebrations

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Muslims mark end of Ramadan with Eid celebrations
A Yemeni girl poses for a photograph as she attends the Eid al-Fitr prayer with her father, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day with dawn prayers and visiting cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead, with children getting new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visiting each other. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
TUNIS, TUNISIA - JULY 28: Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayer in the capital Tunis, Tunisia on July 28,2014. Eid al-Fitr also known Feast of Breaking the Fast, is religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. (Photo by Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Indian Muslim girl displays her henna decorated hands at a roadside stall ahead of the Muslim festivities of Eid al-Fitr, in Mumbai on July 28, 2014. Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO/ INDRANIL MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
TUNIS, TUNISIA - JULY 28: Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayer in the capital Tunis, Tunisia on July 28,2014. Eid al-Fitr also known Feast of Breaking the Fast, is religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. (Photo by Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 28: Muslim men pray during the traditional outdoor Eid al-Fitr celebrations July 28, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The Eid holiday marks the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 28: Muslim men pray during the traditional outdoor Eid al-Fitr celebrations July 28, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The Eid holiday marks the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 28: A Muslim man waves a Palestinian flag during the traditional outdoor Eid al-Fitr celebrations July 28, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The Eid holiday marks the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 28: Vendors preparing food for Muslim Rojedars (fasters) on eve of Eid at market near Jama Masjid on July 28, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Shahi Imam Mufti Mohammed Mukarram Ahmed of Fatehpuri mosque announced that Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, will be celebrated on July 29, 2014 as moon is seen today in many parts of country. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 28: Vendors preparing food for Muslim Rojedars (fasters) on eve of Eid at market near Jama Masjid on July 28, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Shahi Imam Mufti Mohammed Mukarram Ahmed of Fatehpuri mosque announced that Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, will be celebrated on July 29, 2014 as moon is seen today in many parts of country. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Kosovo Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Sulltan Mehmet Fatih grand mosque to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in capital Pristina on Monday, July 28, 2014. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr this week, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan during which followers are required to abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 28: Muslims buying food to break their Roja (fast) on eve of Eid at market near Jama Masjid on July 28, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Shahi Imam Mufti Mohammed Mukarram Ahmed of Fatehpuri mosque announced that Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, will be celebrated on July 29, 2014 as moon is seen today in many parts of country. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Palestinians pray early morning prayer during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the destroyed Al Farouk mosque which was destroyed by an overnight Israeli strike on Tuesday, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 28, 2014. As Muslims began celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday on Monday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, there was mostly fear and mourning instead of holiday cheer in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Yemeni worshippers attend Eid al-Fitr prayers that mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Palestinians pray early morning prayer during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, inside the destroyed Al Farouk mosque which was destroyed by an overnight Israeli strike on Tuesday, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 28, 2014. As Muslims began celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday on Monday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, there was mostly fear and mourning instead of holiday cheer in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
A child stands up as Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr, that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Lisbon's Martim Moniz square, Monday, July 28, 2014. Muslims traditionally start the day with dawn prayers and visiting cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead, with children getting new clothes, toys, shoes and haircuts, and families visiting each other. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Pakistani girls show their hands painted with henna ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, July 28, 2014. Pakistani Muslims will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr, that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Lisbon's Martim Moniz square, Monday, July 28, 2014. Muslims traditionally start the day with dawn prayers and visiting cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead, with children getting new clothes, toys, shoes and haircuts, and families visiting each other. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, fifth left in front row, attends the Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at the Khair mosque, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/SANA)
Syrian children enjoy a swing on the first day of Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on July 28, 2014 in the besieged town of Douma, near Damascus. Six children were among at least 15 civilians killed in overnight bomb attacks by government and rebel forces in the divided city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. AFP PHOTO / ABD DOUMANY (Photo credit should read ABD DOUMANY/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan men attend Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 28, 2014. Eid al-Fitr prayer marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.(AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
An Indonesian girl holds a balloon during Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Parang Kusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)
Muslim worshippers chant slogans during a protest against the fighting in Gaza following a prayer during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Muslim men, bowing toward Mecca, offer Eid al-Fitr prayers that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as police guard them at the main mosque in Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 28, 2014. More than two hundred thousand Muslims gathered at Moscow's mosques to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr. (AP Photo/Evgeny Feldman)
Kosovo Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outsidethe Sultan Mehmet Fatih grand mosque during the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pristina on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Pigeons fly as Afghans prepare to offer Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 28, 2014. Eid al-Fitr prayer marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Ahmad Nazar)
Bangladeshi Muslims living in Malaysia offer a prayer during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
Hundreds of Kenyan Muslims gather and offer prayers in open ground during the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in coastal town Mombasa, Kenya on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world (AP Photo)
Indonesian Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the port in North Jakarta that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Filipino Muslims gather at Manila's Rizal Park to pray in celebration of Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan Monday, July 28, 2014, in Manila, Philippines. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Bangladeshi Muslims sit on the roof of an overcrowded train as others wait as they head to their homes ahead of Eid al-Fitr at a railway station in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Muslims from the suburban villages who have arrived in the city for shopping break their Ramadan fast at a special iftar organized for them at a market in Ahmadabad, India, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Iraqis shop for Eid al-Fitr at the Shorjah market in central Baghdad, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
Bangladeshi Muslims travel home on ferries ahead of Eid al-Fitr in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim calendar's holiest month, during which followers abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Pakistani Muslims pray at a local mosque on Jumat-ul-wida, the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, July 25, 2014. Muslims across the world refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk during Ramadan. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: A girl blows bubbles during an Eid celebration in Burgess Park on July 28, 2014 in London, England. The Muslim holiday Eid marks the end of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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By AYA BATRAWY

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Millions of Muslims across the world celebrated the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday Monday, which marks the end of the monthlong fast of Ramadan.

The three-day-long Eid al-Fitr holiday is a time to celebrate the completion of Ramadan, a month devoted to worship and repentance during which observing Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset every day.

But the mood was dark for millions of people affected by the Syrian civil war, the Gaza war and the militant advance in Iraq. Many were just too busy trying to survive to observe the holiday.

Beyond the Middle East, the few remaining Muslims in the Central African Republic's capital city ventured out to a mosque under the watchful guard of armed peacekeepers. Others like Aminata Bary stayed at home, still too fearful to venture out for fear of attack from Christian militias who drove thousands of Muslims from the capital this year.

In the Philippines, an insurgent group attacked people traveling to celebrate with their families, killing 21, including at least six children, in the bloodiest incident by the gunmen in recent years.

In Gaza City, streets were largely deserted, as residents huddled indoors for safety. More than 1,040 Gazans have been killed, more than 6,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced in the last three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to Palestinian officials. Israel has seen 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed.

"All we think about is to stay safe," said Fedaa Abul Atta, a nurse and mother of six. The family was grieving the death of her nephew, killed in an airstrike. Her house among hundreds demolished by Israeli fire in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shijaiyah.

The mood was equally subdued for the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

"Eid has no flavor here at all," said Umm Ammar, who fled her country three years ago with her family and now lives in an encampment in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley. "We want to celebrate Eid in Syria, in our homes."

Despite frequent car bombings in Iraq's capital of Baghdad, shoppers packed malls and stores ahead of Eid in anticipation of family gatherings.

Muslims in Indonesia, across the Middle East, parts of Africa, Europe and the U.S. marked Eid on Monday. Millions in Morocco, India and most of Pakistan are still fasting and will likely celebrate Eid on Tuesday. That's because Muslims use a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to the month of fasting ending on different days.

In West Africa, Eid prayers were dedicated to the victims of two tragedies in the region - the crash of an Air Algerie plane that killed 118 people and an ongoing Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 670.

Eid celebrations were less extravagant than usual in Malaysia as it tried to come to terms with loss of two Malaysian Airlines flights. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Cabinet canceled their celebrations to mourn for the victims.

Similarly, Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam announced that he would not be receiving guests or congratulations because of the situation in nearby Gaza. Turkish President Abdullah Gul reminded people in his Eid message that though Turkey was enjoying a peaceful holiday, many of its neighbors were not.

In Qatar's capital city of Doha, celebrations were cancelled in one area and in another the festivities were curbed back to mourn victims in Gaza. Some restaurants also had donation boxes and said they would donate their Eid profits to Gaza.

Iman Eddbali, 26, said the imam leading prayers in her local mosque in Doha urged worshippers to be happy for those who cannot be happy this year.

"It is a religious duty to celebrate the end of Ramadan, ... but at the same time it would be indecent to overdo it this year," she said. "We just can't ignore that there are many, many people, not just in Palestine, that simply just can't even have a proper day to rest and mourn their dead."

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