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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ramadan

It's Ramadan again. This is the month of prayer for Muslims when they fast from before sunrise until sundown. And I mean fasting with no food no water!!! People like us(non-Muslims) are not allowed(or advised not) to eat or drink in public and all restaurants are closed all day until sundown. It is also a dry month which means we are confined to our houses or those of friends' for the month if you want some red with dinner. As a local guy explained to us this is the month where the Ala fearing people don't drink a drop of water don't eat a bite of anything and pray five times a day. This is the month where whatever wrong was committed in the year will be forgiven if you fast and abstain from any sexual acts even with one's spouse. One must also try to keep all thoughts pure and not pat an eye lid/lash at the opposite sex or whatever that may corrupt the mind.
I thought "If you can do it, tell me how".
You can't be seen chewing (gum) in public otherwise you are subject to some aggressive and disapproving looks. So lets just say to drive around in the afternoon is a bit scary as people hadn't eaten all day by then. The breaking of the fast at sundown is called Iftar. A lot of sweets (local sweets, dates, etc) are consumed and people visit each other during this time. Next week is the end of Ramadan followed by Eid which is the celebration or a festival time similar to Christmas time for Christians. Presents are given and received and this is a time to donate to a charitable cause such as giving money to those less fortunate.
During Ramadan it so happens that all the beauty salons are booked out by the ladies beautifying themselves.
So this blogger can only wonder about the impure acts that will be committed during Eid. Never mind all will be forgiven next year. Happy Eid all!

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