“It is a very special day for Muslims. It’s a very significant event in the Islamic year. So to miss it is extremely frustrating because we went through all of this last year,” he said.
“[Missing Eid] leaves quite a large gap and void in people’s lives. But the community has to adapt – what other choice do we have?”
Mosques had been gearing up for Eid prayers on Tuesday, he said, which have now been cancelled, alongside many family gatherings and community functions.
“It impacts the whole spectrum of the Muslim community from the older generation but also parents and children especially. My four kids are devastated,” he said.
Elsewhere in the state, holiday cancellations dealt another blow to the tourism sector, particularly in Alpine regions.
George Kyriazis arrived with a group of 10 friends at Falls Creek on Thursday, just in time to hear the announcement that the state was going into lockdown.
“It was a real kick in the guts,” he said on Friday. “I guess you understand the decision but it’s frustrating, we all tried to do the right thing. We said even if we have one day we will be happy but the decision was so quick.
“It is just shattering. We are here at the moment, we are going to catch a bus soon to Mount Beauty and head to Melbourne.
“They’ve given people the choice but the majority of the mountain has decided to exit. If you’re not going ski there is not much else to do. Unfortunately a lot of effort has gone into having a ski season this year and you just feel bad for everyone involved.”
The 27-year-old finance worker said the mood at the ski resort was sombre and “a bit flat”.
“The people here are quite pragmatic folk, they understand it is what it is. The staff here have been fantastic, they have been inundated with requests for refunds and cancellations, they are doing the best they can. But you do feel for them, this is people’s jobs and livelihoods we are talking about and it’s tough.”
Fairfield mother Melissa, who didn’t want to use her last name, had also planned a trip to the snow with her two young daughters, aged two and four.
Her daughters have never seen snow and had been talking about it for weeks, dressing up in snow gear and telling their mother they needed to put carrots on the shopping list to make snowmen. She said the hardest part was telling them the trip was cancelled.
“That’s the hardest, because you just see their little faces, it has just happened so many times. My daughter is four and kind of gets it, and the thing is the fact she gets it is really sad; that kind of dull acceptance this is what we have to do, our four-year-old shouldn’t have to think like that.”
The family hope to get up to support the Alpine businesses.
“I’m ever the optimist so we have rebooked,” she said.
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