Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ramadan Kareem - Ramadan begun in Egypt

With the appropriate sighting of the moon, yesterday (September 1st) was the first day of Ramadan in Egypt.

This begins the Holy month of fasting for Muslims over the world.

What specifically does it mean to expats in Egypt?

Treat everyone with utmost respect. Lack of nicotine and caffeine to bodies used to consuming them every 5 minutes can lead to extreme crankiness.

What work normally takes a day to be done, will take longer. (yes, than usual)

Offices are working shorter hours.
Expect major traffic jams around 3pm when people start heading home.
Expect near zero traffic at sunset during Iftaar time.

Ramadan is a time to share with the less fortunate. Expect more people lining up for Baksheesh and remember your house help have to be given half their annual bonus at Eid time.

Expect to be invited for at least one iftaar party where you will be treated to a large variety of foods. If you are unlucky enough to not have any Egyptian friends to invite you, make sure you attend at least one iftaar buffet in town this season to be treated to delicacies that aren't prepared during the rest of the year. The buffet at the Marriott is a good option.

Definitely wander around the Khan late at night and soak in the atmosphere, maybe even waiting until Sohour. Try to attend a Sufi Performance at the Wikalat al Ghuri.

There are plenty of special cultural events being hosted in the city, try and attend as many as you can and take full advantage of the shortened work days.

Ramadan in Egypt is a unique experience, enjoy it as much as you can. Who knows where you will be next year :)

2 comments:

bee said...

Lack of nicotine and caffeine to bodies used to consuming them every 5 minutes can lead to extreme crankiness. very good point. duly noted.

Kim said...

:)

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