Ramadan in the Sinai

At my Bedouin friends house: Little girls bring dishes made by their mothers and swap them so that in the end you have a buffet of different things. People are usually a bit snappy at the end of a long, hot day without food, water and cigarettes. They sit waiting for the call to prayer to end the fast, with a date in one hand and a juice or water in the other. Once the call sounds, they down the drink and eat the date and tuck into the food.

This was iftar, the breaking of the fast, spent with an Egyptian lady – typical Egyptian dishes of mashi (stuffed veges), rice, chicken.

Sometimes people like to show their generosity by inviting a few guests and organising/cooking all the food and providing the drinks. Here a local Egyptian lady invited 15 Bedouin women to the beach for iftar – it was a beautiful sunset and a lovely place to eat.

A few local restaurants get together and invite anyone and everyone for food and drinks at sunset – a very generous community iftar indeed!

Once the month is over, the 3 day celebration of Eid begins. Marked by a special morning prayer, the day is a form of spiritual graduation and a chance to permanently implement the spiritual lessons learnt throughout the month. Muslims dress in their best and visit friends and relatives as a sense of community prevails. Here the kids are spending their Eid money on toys cand candy floss 

I have just spent my first full month of Ramadan in the Sinai, Egypt. In the past I had experienced snippets of Ramadan before in other Arab countries, but never been here for the full length, so was kind of excited to see how things progress. Here is a little bit of background and a few pictures.

What is of the month Ramadan about?

The sunrise to sunset fast is not simply about denying your body food and water. It also involves arguably the more taxing challenge of avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behaviour. The whole point of the fast is to demonstrate submission to God and keep the mind focused on a spiritual plane.

The benefits:  Patience and mercy, which, let’s face it, we all need more of in these harried times. Ramadan is viewed as a month-long school where graduates leave with a developed sense of self-control in areas including diet, sleeping and the use of time.

New clothes and shoes and handbags and some money for Eid – all the kids are up early parading the streets in their new outfits.Patience and mercy, which, let’s face it, we all need more of in these harried times. Ramadan is viewed as a month-long school where graduates leave with a developed sense of self-control in areas including diet, sleeping and the use of time.

 

Special cookies are sold during the month of Ramadan

These little girls spend their Eid money on a shared pizza – this is a real treat for them to go to a cafe and order food! It is a very special time to be amongst Muslims after accomplishing another challenging Ramadan.

 

 

 

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