Ramadhan

Back to the future

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Yeah, you have guessed it. We are in Egypt, the only country in the world that brings its clocks back and then forth again during the month of Ramadhan. As Ramadhan is officially over make sure to turn you clocks back an hour forward today and an advance notice for 3 weeks that we will be turning those same clocks back an hour for winter time in October.

It’s all fun and games here. Oh and Happy Eid to all the Muslim readers out there.

Why Ramadhan in the Middle East means overeating and Dramas on TV

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I recently read an article which was forwarded by an Egyptian colleague about over eating and watching TV during the month of Ramadhan in Egypt. The full article can be read here. I have lived 2 years of my life in Jordan and have spent the past 2 years in Egypt. I can safely say that this is not an Egyptian phenomenon.

Jordan:

Schools finish earlier at around 13:00ish because everyone is fasting, so people can go home and either sleep or think about eating. Once people have eaten, either at families house which is either on invitation or they have invited. It is well known that the stomachs grow smaller over the  month but we will still make and eat food like there is no tomorrow. Once everyone has eaten, mostly the men of the family will go to the mosque to pray the Tarweeh prayer, which are the recommended prayers only for Ramadhan. These prayers will be cut short because people are eager to go home to watch the latest Drama imported from Syria or Turkey such as Bab Al Hara. If your not at home watching these Dramas, you’re in the cafes watching.

Egypt:

Clocks are brought back an hour just for Ramadhan; Schools and businesses are closed at around 14:30ish. People generally work less. Time is spent either thinking about food, preparing food for large feasts for family members they have not seen the whole year around or  thinking about what you’re going to make the next day and who you’re going to invite. Once the food is eaten and consumed on an extra large proportion, then people head to the mosques for a quick recommended prayer, which is either so long that it puts off people ever coming back again or so short so people can go home or to the cafes to watch Egyptian dramas.

Ramadhan is time for reflection, for working harder, being more aware of your actions in accordance to the book (the Quran) and example of the Prophet. How can it be that some people do not pray all year long and yet they fast during the month of Ramadhan. How can it be that women do not cover, and yet they will fast during the month of Ramadhan. The Muslim community must throw away this ‘pick and choose’ mentality and use the month of Ramadhan is a reflection and purification time so that it can impact the other remaining months in a positive manner.

No one is perfect so lets make this month a spring board for change in the right direction. It is not all about eating and watching Dramas.

Why Ramadhan in the Middle East means overeating and Dramas on TV

Posted on Updated on


I recently read an article which was forwarded by an Egyptian colleague about over eating and watching TV during the month of Ramadhan in Egypt. The full article can be read here. I have lived 2 years of my life in Jordan and have spent the past 2 years in Egypt. I can safely say that this is not an Egyptian phenomenon.

Jordan:

Schools finish earlier at around 13:00ish because everyone is fasting, so people can go home and either sleep or think about eating. Once people have eaten, either at families house which is either on invitation or they have invited. It is well known that the stomachs grow smaller over the  month but we will still make and eat food like there is no tomorrow. Once everyone has eaten, mostly the men of the family will go to the mosque to pray the Tarweeh prayer, which are the recommended prayers only for Ramadhan. These prayers will be cut short because people are eager to go home to watch the latest Drama imported from Syria or Turkey such as Bab Al Hara. If your not at home watching these Dramas, you’re in the cafes watching.

Egypt:

Clocks are brought back an hour just for Ramadhan; Schools and businesses are closed at around 14:30ish. People generally work less. Time is spent either thinking about food, preparing food for large feasts for family members they have not seen the whole year around or  thinking about what you’re going to make the next day and who you’re going to invite. Once the food is eaten and consumed on an extra large proportion, then people head to the mosques for a quick recommended prayer, which is either so long that it puts off people ever coming back again or so short so people can go home or to the cafes to watch Egyptian dramas.

Ramadhan is time for reflection, for working harder, being more aware of your actions in accordance to the book (the Quran) and example of the Prophet. How can it be that some people do not pray all year long and yet they fast during the month of Ramadhan. How can it be that women do not cover, and yet they will fast during the month of Ramadhan. The Muslim community must throw away this ‘pick and choose’ mentality and use the month of Ramadhan is a reflection and purification time so that it can impact the other remaining months in a positive manner.

No one is perfect so lets make this month a spring board for change in the right direction. It is not all about eating and watching Dramas.

My bad, we have gone back in time

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The clocks actually went back last night in Egypt. It was announced the day before in the local papers that during the month of Ramadhan the clocks will be put back an hour. Soon after Ramadhan has finished the clocks will be put forward again for a few weeks and after which the clocks will be put back again for summer time. Did anyone get all that?

I know technically we still get to fast the same amount of hours but somehow it seems like cheating to me. Why go through all that trouble for an hour? If you were going to put the clocks back to make it easier for the people then hey, why not go all the way and bring the clocks back for at least 3 or 4 hours where everyone can have a very late dinner at about midnight, then pray fajr at 1am and then go to sleep.

I just don’t get and I have never heard of this anywhere in the Muslim world except Egypt.

Going back in time

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Do not forget that the clocks go back an hour tonight in preparation for Ramadhan next week. It is customary in Egypt to put the clocks an hour behind during the month of Ramadhan. I have not witnessed this anywhere in the Muslim world expect Egypt. Normally clocks are put back or forth for the purpose of day light but it seems in Egypt it is related to Ramadhan to make it easier for people.

Ramadhan Nights in Cairo

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It is the first day of Ramadhan tomorrow. Muslims are encouraged to attend extra prayers in the evening called the ‘tarawih prayer’.at the Masjid (Mosque). It’s a long prayer which could last as long as two hours. I must say it’s a spirtually uplifting time.

However, anyone who has visited a masjid, knows that you are suppoed to leave your shoes at the door or on the shoe rack. As with everyone else, I left my shoes inside the Masjid, in a shoe rack.

After the prayer, its mad rush to leave. People are rushing to get their shoes, so they can spend some time with th eloved ones, before getting up earliy in the morning prepare for the fast. I went back to the shoe rack where I had placed my shoes and I could not find my shoes. I thought maybe I had placed them on an another shoe rack. I looked and looked but could not find my shoes. I must have looked at every shoe rack in the Masjid about 5 times but found nothing. I thought maybe someone has taken them by mistake and they will return shorrtly, so I waited outside the Masjid doors. I waited so long that the caretakers had started to close the gates of Masjid. I asked a few people about my shoes and they were convinced that they had been stolen.

At this point I decided to ring my wife to collect me as I do not want to be walking around the streets of Cairo with my socks only. While waiting I met another gentleman who was wearing only his socks and was waiting for his wife to come and pick him as his shoes had also been stolen.

I really hope some has taken them by mistake and will return them soon.

It’s not a good start for me, as I promised I would try to look at the postive side of my experince in Egypt.

Not good so far. I hopes are high at the moment.

wasapninegypt

Ramadhan Kareem

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There was no credible sighting of the new moon yesterday, hence tomorrow will be the first of Ramadhan. I hope Muslims will make the most of this blessed month and view it more than just refraining from food. Let’s break free.

Ramadhan Kareem 🙂

btw if you have not already realised, the clocks went back an hour today in Egypt. I remember fasting in Ramadhan, where at this time of the year, the sun sets at 21:30.

wasapnin