Ramadan is the month when the city never sleeps and the family gatherings never end.
It doesn’t even matter what your faith is, you inexorably enjoy the mesmerising atmosphere that you can only feel during the sweetest annual tradition. Here’s what we’re yearning for this Ramadan.
This year more than ever, the surge in customs makes grocery shopping seem like a luxury activity for middle classes. But all those bundle offers and dramatic discounts that we get to enjoy for just a month will be a reminder of the good ol’ days, when we didn’t have to carefully calculate the cost of each item before heading out to the cashier.
The holy month of qatayef, dried fruits, samboosa, and an everyday feasting on a new kind of meat! If it’s anything at all that keeps us going through the month, it’s all the delicious treats that mummy only gets to cook on a daily basis for an entire month this time of the year.
It doesn’t even matter if we enjoy watching them or not. One way or another, the kids in the gathering will have it on, and something about them makes them the perfect background noise to our iftar. We also have to admit… some of them really are hilarious and a delight to watch no matter how old you are. While we miss the adventures of Bakkar, we still enjoy the modern Ramadan toons.
Though you wouldn’t normally listen to the conventional music that plays in shops during Ramadan at any other time of the year, it’s definitely an enchanting experience when you go shopping or listen to it from a distance on your neighbour’s radio. Just really sets the mood!
There is no other time when the streets of Cairo are so colourful…or lighted for that matter. All the lights don’t just create the Ramadanic dose of traditional ethos, but they also have their way of making you feel safe when your family sends you downstairs to fetch some more milk past midnight. When else do you get to do that?
Let’s all admit that he usually doesn’t do a fabulous job at waking us up to eat our supper because his hollering is often too soothing, quiet…and we’re usually already awake at one in the morning, but Ramadan just wouldn’t be the same without him.
What’s a curfew?
Decided to wander about at two in the morning? It doesn’t matter because everyone is outside eating their fava beans and yoghurt. Four in the morning? You’re probably on your way to attend fajr prayers. This is pretty much the only time in Egypt when you have the excuse to head outside whenever you want to.
Let’s just put it this way: you either buy several boxes of kahk a couple of weeks before Eid and finish them all before Ramadan ends, or you’re doing it wrong. Although fasting is initially for detoxing and giving your body a break from consistent digestion, it’s only traditional to gain at least a few kilos before Ramadan ends.
Taking a break from Gossip
Okay, fine, who are we kidding? We never really do take a complete break from gossip, but we at least attempt to sugar coat it..until we hear the adhan that is. Most of all, it’s almost like we’re being baby sat, and we’re constantly conscious of everything mean we say or do, which really helps make us rethink our intentions.
For some, Ramadan is the perfect time to lose weight, detox, and repair all the damage we’ve been accumulating all year, seeing as most of us are reliant on fast food nowadays. For others, it’s an excuse to happily overeat qatayef.