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Indonesian Tsunami Survivors Celebrate Holy Day of Eid al Adha

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In northern Indonesia, victims of the earthquake and tsunami have celebrated the Muslim holy day of Eid al Adha, when they remember Ibrahim's willingness to submit to the will of God by sacrificing his son. Eid al Adha has struck a particularly strong chord with the tens of thousands of men and women who have lost loved ones in the disaster.

As the sun rises, the prayers of the faithful swell across a wasteland of rubble and sand in the village of Uleelheue. The village, on the outskirts of the town of Banda Aceh, lies just meters from the sea: the mosque is one of only five buildings still standing in a kilometer radius.

Many of those attending the service Friday morning emerged in tears, still clearly traumatized by the events of four weeks ago, but the imam of the Baiturrahim mosque, Rosman Daudi, says he has spoken to most of the survivors and they are committed to staying in Uleelheue.

He says that all the people he has spoken to want to rebuild Uleelheue, but they want international help, and they want to build a sea wall to protect them from another disaster.

Uleelheue was not so much destroyed as erased by the earthquake and the tsunami that followed. Of the more than 3,100 people who lived there four weeks ago, only 206 are still alive today.

In his address Friday morning, Mr. Daudi reminded his listeners that the festival of Eid al Adha remembers Ibrahim's willingness to submit to the will of God by sacrificing his son, and he urged them to suffer their current trials with similar fortitude.

Although many are trying to look forward, the memories of the past are still raw. Syafruddin was working in the capital Jakarta when the disaster hit, but he lost 30 close family members and countless more distant relatives and friends.

One of those lost was a songwriter who wrote a song about Uleelheue and the fishermen who lived there.

Friday, Syafruddin and his brother sang the song in memory of their friend.

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