Ramadan: Declared by a Crescent
I’ve been wanting to write about Ramadan before the thin crescent of the moon declared the beginning of the month of self-restraint, but I’m having a little difficulty with my pen at the moment (hence very little writing’s been happening).
Ramadan 1432 AH (2011) commenced on the 1st of August – it started without much fanfare for me, as the previous day was one of the most exhausting working days I’ve experienced in Egypt thus far, and one which I shall not dwell on.
There had been anticipation of great difficulty surrounding this year’s fast because it’s within the throngs of an Egyptian summer, so the first day was very chilled and I stayed at home with my sister (who was here for three weeks – I’ll blog about our not-so-exciting escapades in due course!) and accepted an invitation to break our fast in true Egyptian style.
Tonight is the 7th night of Ramadan and the second that I’ve actually spent at home. Every Ramadan night has been peppered with an Egyptian spice, whether it be breaking fast with very dear friends, meeting other expats and sharing a bit of ‘now we can eat’ joy or having the pre-dawn meal overlooking the Great Pyramids themselves.
I’m hoping Ramadan slows down a little. I don’t want it to to be devoured, but to milked on slowly so that I can pause often in thought and reflection, and travel within myself to do a little bit more self-discovery.
My highlight thus far has been spending an hour at the top of a minaret that overlooks Cairo with the Quran as my companion. An experience that I really cannot allow words to try to describe, because they’ll only come lightyears away from the emotions that enveloped me at that point in time.
I wish all my fasting readers a very blessing-filled Ramadan, and I promise to try to make some writing pit-stops soon.
Love, as always,
– The Londoner
p.s. I know I’ve failed to describe the joys of the month, or the sparkling lights that illuminate every street, or the Ramadan lantern (fanous) that is in abundance here, or the great happiness seen on the faces of the destitute as unknown donors drop off food along streets. I promise, I will. God-willing, I will. ~ T.L.