Arabeyes: Countdown to Ramadhan – Part 2

With only a few days left before the start of the Holy Month of Ramadhan in the Muslim calendar, here's another bite at what bloggers from around the Middle East are writing about in preparation for the month of fasting.


From Bahrain, the Godfather of Bahrain's blogosphere Mahmood Al Yousif bashes those who make the month literally go to waste:

Generally though, as far as my observation of the traditions we have in Bahrain are concerned, it will once again become the month of gluttony, wasted enterprise, lethargy and living like bats: sleeping all day and essentially partying all night. Generally.
Why people can’t just treat Ramadhan as just another month physically but invest it in spiritually is beyond me. It has become nothing more than a trade event commercialised to fleece people who happily throw their limited amount of cash away and then grumble that they don’t have enough while their uneaten and thrown out food could quite easily feed every hungry person in the world.

Still in Bahrain, Bahraini Rants takes us on a step-by-step encounter on how he tried to ‘cleanse’ his system before the start of the month a few years ago.

Historically, the last Wednesday before Ramadan has always been a busy time in Bahraini homes… Bahraini’s, being the cool holistic cats that they are, cleansed and detoxed their systems to ring in the coming holy month properly. They used to drink a strange combination of leaves, roots and branches called “ishrig”, mixed up by the local Hawaj (apothecary) and brewed into a god awful drink to help cleanse your system. In other words, a diuretic with the devastating outcome reminiscent of a raging cyclone steriods, nice enough picture for you?

Click on the link above to read more about Bahraini Rants cleansing ritual.


Felix, from Morocco Times, shares her views on the month is this post:

As you can see from my countdown timer, it’s less than a week to Ramadan! I’m excited. No, I’m not Muslim – but I do observe along with my husband. An American who converted (”reverted”, if you prefer the term) to Islam once told me that my fast didn’t mean anything, that it wasn’t recognized by Allah – don’t you just love nutters like that? Actually, I don’t do it for God, and no one pressures me, either. I do it because it’s a great mental, physical, and spiritual exercise.

So…many of you who don’t fast might think the hardest part is giving up food. Not so – at least not for me. It’s all about controlling your nafs (basic wants and desires/your “self” or personality), so my biggest problem is usually controlling my temper. So here’s a few examples:

Anger – no yelling at Hamou when he puts the toilet paper roll on backwards for the umpteenth time
Gossip – no talking to other people about how X’s girlfriend is no good for him and he could do better
Lust – no flirting with certain clients (No more suggestions of how they’re “my favorite!”)
Pride – no feeling smug when I know more than someone else (or when I think I know!)


As much as Ramadhan is the month of spirituality and fasting, it is also the period of the year when the region's television stations are their most active, churning out one programme after the other – probably to keep people's mind off food while they are fasting. Omani blogger Muscati introduces us to a blog (Arabic), which promises to keep track of all the sit-coms which will be available during the month.

If you're one of those people for whom the tv series are main highlight of Ramadhan, you're gonna love Blue-Chi's new blog, Blue-Chi and his team are planning to give daily coverage on all the major series that will show during the month. They've already started with posting brief outlines of the shows and which channels they will be shown on.

My wife and I haven't been watching any of the Arabic serials the past two Ramadhans and instead we catch up on our DVDs. But with a site like this one I guess it would be easier to choose a show to watch and find updates if we miss a day.


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