BENGHAZI: Libyans celebrated Eid Al-Fitr holiday on different days this year because of bitter political splits that persist despite years of peace efforts.
Religious authorities in east Libya, aligned with the parliament which is based there, said they had sighted the crescent moon on Thursday, making it the last day of fasting and setting Friday as Eid.
In Tripoli, the capital, religious authorities linked to the national interim government said they had not seen the moon and the holiday would not begin until Saturday, meaning people should fast another day.
“This is madness and I pray it ends here,” said Ahmed Mesbah, 50, in Tripoli, who chose to celebrate Eid on Friday. “We are divided among those who fast and those who have stopped fasting,” he added.
The date of Eid is normally set by the official religious authority in each country, but Libya has had little stability since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising against ruler Muammar Qaddafi. The country split in 2014 between warring factions in east and west, a rift that remains despite comparative peace since 2020.