Sunday, May 22, 2022


 Jakarta, 23/5/2022 (ANTARA) - It was a beautiful day when Belibis Island in Solok City, West Sumatra Province, was thronged by some three thousand tourists enjoying holidays with their families a week after the 2022 Eid al-Fitr celebrations that fell on May 2.

Zul Hendro, 30, who offered a horse ride for Rp10,000 (US$0.70) per ride for one person on the island, expressed joy as he could bring home up to Rp800,000 ($54) on that day. He hardly had any customers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the closure of various tourist attractions.

The number of visitors to Belibis Island had continued to increase since the first day of Eid 2022 (May 2), Head of the Solok Tourism Object Management Fauzi stated on May 8, 2022.

Eid celebrations across Indonesia this year were much more livelier than those in the previous two years following the governments policy to relax COVID-19 restrictions, as the countrys COVID-19 situation was under control.

This year, the government allowed the reopening of tourist attractions and the people to travel to their hometowns for the Eid Islamic festivity in a tradition called mudik that triggered an exodus of millions of people leaving big cities for rural areas throughout Indonesia. However, the people were reminded to get vaccinated and always follow health protocols of wearing masks.

During the mudik period, the traffic flow increased by over 100 percent, and the hotel occupancy rate jumped by 70 percent to 80 percent on average during the holiday period in several regions.

In Bromo, Tretes, and Trawas, East Java, for instance, the hotel occupancy rate surged by some 100 percent on average, according to the Halal Tourism Association (PPHI).

Thursday, May 19, 2022


Jakarta, 20/5/2022 (ANTARA) - Millions of Indonesian Muslims were finally able to resume the tradition of returning to their hometowns or villages to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families in May this year after two years of strict public movement restrictions due to COVID-19.

The government allowed Indonesians to observe mudik or the homecoming tradition following a significant improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Nearly 90 percent of Indonesias population of 273 million are Muslims. This years Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr fell on May 2, with the government granting a longer leave for those celebrating the holiday.

"At least 85.5 million people, 23 cars, and 17 million motorcycles join mudik this year. Thats a lot, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) wrote on his social media account in early May.

The simultaneous and large-scale exodus was far from easy to manage and necessitated extra coordination and hard work from several stakeholders, including the Transportation Ministry, the Police, the Health Ministry, and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), to ensure the safety of travelers.

President Widodo, who celebrated the festival in Yogyakarta, assured that the Eid homecoming flow in various regions was smooth.

"I see that everything is going well," he said after meeting Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X at the Yogyakarta Palace on May 2.

To ensure a safe exodus, the National Police deployed 144,392 personnel comprising police officers, military officers, local government officers, and volunteers to monitor and coordinate traffic.

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, on May 12 drew attention to the fact that traffic accidents during the exodus had reduced considerably compared to 2019.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


 Jakarta, 19/5/2022 (ANTARA) - The New York Times published Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian Journalist, dies, aged 51 article, May 11, on a Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli forces while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin, West Bank, Palestine.

Other Western media outlets mostly also avoided mentioning Israeli forces that deliberately shot the Al Jazeera reporter in their titles in order to whitewash the Israeli crime against humanity for killing reported on duty.

The brutality of Israel occupying forces against Palestinians is notorious, including by targeting journalists. At least 45 journalists have been killed by Israeli forces since 2000 according to the Palestinian Ministry of Information as quoted by Aljazeera.

In May 2021, an Israeli air raid in the Gaza Strip demolished a tower that hosted several residential apartments and offices, including the bureaus of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.

The Indonesian Government, the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI), and the Indonesian Ulema (Islamic scholars) Council (MUI) strongly condemned the killing of Abu Akleh.

"Indonesia strongly denounces the murder of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in the (Israel-) occupied West Bank," spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Teuku Faizasyah noted in a press briefing on May 12, 2022.

The Foreign Ministry pressed for an investigation into the shooting.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Eid vibe returns in Indonesia after two years of restrictions by Fardah

 Jakarta, May 2, 2022 (ANTARA) - Over 200 million Indonesians celebrated Eid al-Fitr in full swing on Monday following the government’s decision to relax COVID-19 restrictions given the significant drop in the number of infections of late.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on April 2, 2022, announced that the government would allow people to go home this year provided they complete the vaccination requirements and follow the health protocols, such as wearing face masks.

As of May 2, a total of 199,346,528 Indonesians have been fully vaccinated out of the targeted 208,265,720.

Indonesian Muslims joyfully welcomed the announcement on the relaxations allowing Indonesians to celebrate Eid in their hometowns and perform Eid prayers in open fields as they normally do.

"I am feeling happy because I can finally go home, after a long time of not going home. Now, I can celebrate Eid in my hometown," Sari Novita, who traveled to Bangka, Bangka Belitung province, Sumatra Island, from Tanjung Priok Port, North Jakarta, Java Island, said on April 28.

The government has set collective leave on April 29 and May 4–6. This means that people have vacation time from April 29 to May 8.

"Thank God, in this year's Eid al-Fitr, we are able to gather with family, meet parents, and relatives in our hometown," the President said on the eve of Eid al-Fitr on May 1.

This is the third Eid al-Fitr amid the COVID-19 pandemic for Indonesian Muslims, who could not celebrate it normally in 2020 and 2021 owing to strict restrictions imposed by the government that banned them from holding mass Eid prayers and from returning to their hometowns under the annual exodus tradition called “mudik” to celebrate the Islamic festival with their relatives.