Muslims mark Eid, but politics takes away from holiday cheer

Millions of Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday marked the first day of Eid al-Adha, the most important holiday in the Islamic calendar, with prayers, family reunions and traditional sweets for the occasion. In Lebanon, where a yearlong political crisis took away much of the holiday cheer, the usually festive mood was subdued. It was a bleak holiday in the Palestinian territories, too, particularly in Gaza City where the holiday fell under the shadow of Hamas' violent takeover and the deepening international isolation that followed. But in Iraq, some expressed a feeling of optimism after months of declining violence. "This Eid differs from the previous ones, as we have received unexpected numbers of worshippers," Jamal al-Kubaisi, imam of Abu Hanifa, the biggest Sunni mosque in Baghdad, told The Associated Press.