Lebanon: Ramadan Kareem

A bountiful and peaceful Ramadan to all.

Ramadan (Ar) is the ninth month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar. It is the month when the Holy Quran was revealed according to Islam. Observant Muslims practice daytime fasting during this month.
‘Kareem’ is Arabic for generous or bountiful. People usually wish each other ‘Ramadan kareem’ during this month. At other times, it is ‘Ramadan mubarak’ – Mubarak meaning blessed.

The fast, during this month, is intended to be a challenging act taking the believer to a higher level of closeness to God. Some of the expected outcomes are cleansing of the soul by staying away from worldly pleasures, practicing self-discipline, sacrifice, generosity and charity.

Lebanese bloggers posted about this occasion since last week marked the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

Now to the posts.

Why does NightS love Ramadan? Her answer is a typical one among most people, whether they observe the fast or not. She says:

…because it's the only time I eat with my family on the same table at the same time!!

Suzanne Alaywan and Ibn Bint Jbeil commemorated the commencing of this month by painting two different images. The first one below, by Suzanne Alaywan is titled ‘Ramadan Kareem’. It shows a new moon, which is a symbol of the beginning of the new month.
S Alaywan, Ramadan

The second image, below, is by Ibn Bint Jbeil which he titled ‘Ramadan Mubarak’:
M Bazzi, Ramadan

Sietske in Beirut
explained how she came to understand the ins and outs of the observance of fasting, not only by Muslims but also by Christians in Lebanon. She managed to reach this understanding only after several years of her stay here. She describes the month of Ramadan as:

the time of the year when you will find totally faded shopkeepers, heads resting on their arms, on top of their counters; too tired to even look at the customer that just entered the store. The time of the year when at 7 o’clock, this part of town is a ghost town; even tumbleweed won’t move.
The time of the year when Lebanese for once organize dinner parties at decent hours; guest are in at 7, and out at 8.
The time of the year when the little drummer man walks the streets at 2 o’clock in the morning, waking up the neighborhood for a last meal with his shouting and his banging.
The time of the year when TV shows are even sillier than usual.

And again, happy Ramadan to all.


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