In Dire Dawa, the day starts early with the call to prayer rising from uncounted minarets. Usually, it gathers the faithful in the different mosques or calls them to pray in their homes. But today is Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Morning prayers on this day are supposed to demonstrate the unity of the Muslim community, so everybody is invited to the large open ground on the outskirts of town. In some countries, this open-air mosque is artfully designed and constructed, in Dire Dawa, it is a simple field surrounded by the natural beauty of trees and hills. On this morning, there are speakers set up to broadcast the call to prayer from early dawn till sunrise, when the imam gets on stage to lead the prayer. People arrive by the thousands, both men and women. This feeling of being part of a large community of faith, praying the same words in unison with so many others is one of the highlights of the day.
Photos and video by Joshua Smith