Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ramadan Kareem

Tomorrow begins the thirty day holiest of seasons in the part of the world where I live.  And while the country will be in focused reflection, through fasting and gifts to charity and family gatherings, so too will I try to be focused on reflection.  I want to be more mindful of what my experience here is teaching me about myself; about where I find God; about what it means to be mortal on this earth.  Much like kicking off lent (and another season of great intentions, never fully completed), the fact that those around are focused on their heavenly father, Alah, I'll try to be just a little more cognizant of where God is in my life here. 

To be honest, the thing that us expats look forward to most about Ramadan is the shorter working days.  Because the Muslims do not eat between sunup and sundown (and that means not having anything in their mouth.  That means no water, no gum, not even a breath mint which can make working closely together even more of a challenge) their strength and stamina is lessened.  Not only do they have the not eating or drinking during the day, but it also means that they are up very late at night and have to get up early.  They are up late at night because when they finally can break their fast they are ready to feast and socialize.  They gather as families.  They go to Mosque together.  They go to the Iftar tents where there is food and shisha pipes and live music with the classic middle eastern stringed Oud.  They are big, and very late evenings.  Every evening: thirty in a row.  And they have to get up early before sunrise, to get through to the break of fast in the evening.  The fact that this hits during the hottest longest days of summer is especially taxing.  You see Ramadan follows a lunar calendar, and so every year it shifts a little bit.  This year, lucky us, it is during the hotest, longest days.  But the upside to this, as I started to say, is that the work days are shortened.  We will work from 9 AM to 3 PM.  No need for a lunch break.  There is no lunch.

So I will have a lot more free time.  I don't have to be to work until 9:00.  And I'll be back home by 3:30.  I have great intentions.  I have new Pilates and Yoga DVDs.  I have a blog that has been far too quiet.  I have new books on Kindle to read.  I also have a very comfortable bed and blackout curtains.  It will be a struggle of will. 


Anonymous said...

You can do whatever you put your mind to. I hope it is a good season for you.

KelleyM said...

Welcome back! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, tactics, adventures, and reflections through this Ramadan. Blessings, friend!

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