Arabeyes: Ramadan Scenes

With the month of Ramadan halfway through, bloggers in the Middle East are still tapping away at their keyboards, reflecting on different aspects of the Islamic month of fasting. This week we make stops in Yemen, Palestine, Kuwait and Israel to see what bloggers have to say.

Yemen: Month of Eating

From Yemen, Thamood (Ar) wonders if Ramadan has become the month of eating and urges people to eat less during Iftar, which is the meal they break their day's fast with.

الزحمة التي تملئ الشوارع قبل موعد الفطور تجعلني استغرب…”متى اصبح رمضان شهرا للاكل” وبالعامية “بالذمة كم كيلو بتاكل!!” ومع ذلك ترى الناس يأتون كل يوم إلى بيوتهم محملين بالاكياس المليئة بكل ما لذ وطاب وكأنهم “محرومون” من الاكل لسنين والامر الامحزن انه توجد مخلفات كثيرة سترمى لكن بعضهم يشبع عينه قبل بطنه والعافية من الله..
اشتري ماتريد لكن الاسراف شيء مقرف خصوصا وانك ترى المساكين يملؤون الشوارع ومع ذلك يصر بعضهم على المبالغة في وجبة الفطور إلى حد الاستعباط…لكن اتعرفون ماهو “العبط الاكثر” ان تتعشى بعد الفطور بساعة!!
ما اسرع الوقت رمضان اتى وسينتهي قريبا اسأل الله ان يعتق رقابنا ورقابكم من النار وخلوكم خفيفن في الفطور.
**شكر خاص اوجهه للذين يدعمون العزابية (امثالي حاليا) بالدعوات خخخخخخ كثروا منها
“The congestion which fills the street before breaking the fast makes me wonder: since when has Ramadan become the month of eating? You see people going to their homes everyday carrying bags of food as if they have been denied food for years. What is also sad is that a lot of food will be thrown out in the garbage. It seems that some of them like to fill their eyes before their stomaches even though health is in God's hands. Buy whatever you want but living in excess is disgusting, especially when you see a lot of poor people on the streets. Despite this, you see some overdoing the Iftar (breaking the fast) to the degree of stupidity..but do you know what is more have dinner an hour after Iftar!! Time goes by really fast and Ramadan has come and will soon go. I ask Allah to keep me and you away from hell and please take it easy with the Iftar meals. ** A special thank you goes to people who support bachelors like me and please keep the Iftar invitations coming..” he writes.

Palestine: Time for the Family

In Palestine, Assad Ramallah has taken the opportunity to help his father run his store. He also gives us a sneak preview to the life of Palestinians under siege.

“Ramadan month continues, I have more time to spend helping my family, and spending time with them.
I guess its good for me, but also for them.
Most mornings I'm helping my father in our store. He surely needs my help. His health is not as good as it was before.
I think that this is a result of the past two years…my father nearly closed his shop because of the hard days- People could not afford buying things at the store because many people in ramallah are not working or didn't get any salaries , so they have no money, and when people have no money they cannot spend it…
My father decided to continue working, and keep the store alive. It made me happy, because I know how much he likes his store, sometimes I feel that the store is all his life. And that's the reason why I'm helping him.
I'm glad that I'm free at the mornings to help him, and I'm sure he will be able to continue working at the store in the future.
These days, I have much free time, because studies have not begun yet, but I know that soon I will be busy with university again,” he explains.

Kuwait: Where Did I Park My Car?

In Kuwait, Toomz talks about how she's been avoiding people on chat programs on the internet for six months .. but how Ramadan has made her forgetful.

“For about six months now I've been avoiding chat clients. I stopped logging into my MSN account and rarely use GTalk. They are such time wasters and despite the fact that I'm an awesome multi-tasker I don't have the patience to sit at a computer anymore. I'd rather be out and about.
I've also avoided interacting too much on Facebook in the past few months, but now I've got a renewed interest in it. I think I did one of the stupidest things ever and removed everyone off my Limited Profile list. I blame it on Ramadan.
Ramadan makes me stupid. And forgetful. And stupid. Every day after work I wander around the parking lot searching for my car. I've lost my car every single day of Ramadan. I always remember what floor I parked on but which section? Forget about it!” she writes.

Israel: Cannon Blasts to Break Fasts

Israeli Izzy Bee also shares with us a tradition seen in most Arab countries in this post, where she writes about the cannon firings which signal the time to break the fast (sunset).

“In the old city of Jerusalem there are a tangle of historic tales, waiting to be respun. My droll buddy James Hider, intrigued by the blast that marks the evening meal during the holy month of Ramadan, sought out the Sandouka family that has summoned fasters to dinner for the past century or so with a cannonball. His report appeared in the London Times, and it makes an intriguing read. Uri Lupolianski, the orthodox Mayor of Jerusalem, has no problem with the Arab family that shoots shells at sundown outside the venerable gates. The mayor sided with the traditionalists and derided new rules that would force Sandouka, who has been shooting the signal blast for two decades, to pass a $2000 certification course before handling explosives,” she explains.


  • Ann-Sofie Johansson

    was just reading this when it hit me… i have no idea what ramadan really is or why you have to fast through ramadan?
    Would really love to know thugh.
    also it appears to me that ramadan is celebrated at a different point each year.. i might be wrong about that, but if not, then how come?

  • One of the beautiful things about our Ramadan is that it is celebrated all over the world: from Malmö in the North to Johansberg in the South, from Tokyo in the East to San Fransisco in the West.

    Read more at my blog.

  • salt sava moi abdolah do maroc agdir ok mirci toi

  • I find it interesting how people from different countries or cultures practice Ramadan and also the interesting perspectives. I wrote about how I love Ramadan and the downsides of it on my blog in September. I am interested in people’s perspectives because I find far more similarities in our practices among humanity than differences.

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