Ramadan: An outsider’s perspective.

It’s Ramadan again here in the Hashmite Kingdom. It reminds me of Christmas in some ways. Lots of food, gifts and special time with friends and family. It is also reminder to me of the thankfulness that my salvation is not a result of good works, but entirely because of my faith…phew, thank goodness for that!

I love Ramadan – a whole month where our Muslim friends and neighbours fast from food, water and cigarettes from sunrise to sun down. A month where a guy walks the streets at about 3am banging his drum every day waking up people so they have chance to eat a meal before the day begins. A month where the workdays are shorter and the roads are quiet. A month where if you are out driving at the time the fast breaks, Ifta, a person will bring you a date and some water at the lights so you can break the fast. A month you have the playground to yourself first thing in the morning. A month where the kids and I have to eat and drink rather sneakily when in public. A month where you can see some shop doors open ajar for people to sneak in and have a quick smoke. A month where the liquor shops are shut – boo!!

I have a great deal of respect for the Muslims who do Ramadan.  There’s majority who basically just switch their days and nights around, sleep all day and play all night. The reason I know this, I could hear the neighbourhood children having a football match this morning at 2am. ‘Goal!!!!’ The celebratory screams abruptly woke me from my deep sleep. On goes the white noise to drown out the noise so I could sleep. It is guaranteed that I won’t hear those children again until about 5pm. Their families will sleep all day.

I’m not sure I would be very friendly to be around if I was doing Ramadan. But, for the Muslims who choose to do it correctly without switching their days around, they have my uttermost respect. A lot of them continue working, even serving food, making food at the few of the cafes that are allowed to stay open during Ramadan during the day. I don’t know how they do it.

I do love Ramadan. There’s a buzz in the air, everyone is relaxed, and the entire city shuts down during daylight, except for the expats that take full advantage of the empty parks, roads, hotels and shops in the morning. It’s bliss.

Ramadan Kareem everyone.

 

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