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    The 30 days of Ramadan: Day One

    September 27th, 2006 by steve

    Rama-what? No really, what are the rules here? I admit my circle of friends and acquaintances at home has never included many muslims, that I’m aware of. Therefore it was surprising to me to learn that one of the pillars of Islam is the observance of Ramadan. The dates change every year, but it’s always 30 days. This year it’s Sept 24 to Oct 23. Lucky us we get to experience it while we’re traveling through Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt. What we’ve heard is that during this time good muslims cannot eat or drink ANYTHING from sunrise to sunset. This year that means from 6am to 7pm no bread, no tea, not even water, nothing means nothing. After sunset there are gorging parties all over town. Also, they must pray 5 times during the day, including at 4am, and all efforts are to be exerted to do so at a mosque. This not only scrambles a lot of public services like transportation and office hours, but also puts people in bad moods since they thirsty and starving all day. And they have to go cold turkey with alcohol because it is strictly forbidden during this month, more so than the rest of the year when some of the rules are more loosely interpreted. There are other particulars like the sacrifice of a goat, etc. that we haven’t been able to get all the particulars on. So we weren’t sure what to expect in Istanbul since it is very much a modern city with enormous western influences but is nonetheless muslim. In the morning my belly was already on empty so we walked around trying to spy if any non-tourist was eating or drinking. As it was a Sunday, their only day off, the streets were quiet. I was getting pretty desperate and ready to buy snacks to scarf in the hotel when we did catch some local looking peeps sipping in cafes. There was nothing that indicated that this was day was any different from the last. So on the first day of Ramadan my true love gave to me, a McDonald’s hamburger.

    -Mary

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses

    1. obada Says:

      Dear mary& steve
      You have wonderful web site many things to read, am glad to meet you guys
      Wish you great and safety trip, I will add some if your photo in our web site 5jd for each B), if you have time you can sign in our gust book you can add your comment about the dive center hope you enjoy in Egypt.
      Dive master/obada
      http://www.aqabagulfdivecenter.com

    2. mary Says:

      Hi Obada!
      We’ll definitely go and add our comments to your site. We had a great time with you guys in Aqaba. What you said about Dahab’s coral not being as good as Aqaba’s is right. And the water is much clearer in Aqaba as well. But the Red Sea is just a great place to dive no matter where.

      We look forward to seeing our underwater photos on your site.

      Thanks again for everything.

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