|It was full moon on Wednesday and half way through the Ramadan month of fasting here in Khartoum (Photo:mine)|
|Breaking the fast at sunset with iftar on the city sidewalks in the Sudan. (Photo: Internet)|
During Ramadan strict rules have to be adhered to by Muslims while fasting, praying, and reading the Qu’ran. All Muslims rise before dawn and eat the pre-dawn meal. The call for the Morning Prayer is the sign that fasting must begin until the call for the fourth prayer in the evening, Şlāh el Ghrwb (salah el Maghrib is how the people of Khartoum pronounce it), is made. Eating and drinking is again allowed after sunset.
Apart from fasting, the Muslims are encouraged to read or recite the Qu’ran during Ramadan. Special prayer sessions and Qu’ran-reciting sessions known as Tarawih are conducted every night in the mosques. They read a section of the Qu’ran everyday and eventually finish reading it by the 30th day. From our flat we hear these readings emanating from three to five mosques at a time.
While sipping our fresh fruit juice on the balcony in the evening, we observe how the women prepare the meal for the evening. In both our streets (our apartment is on the corner of two streets), the store owners act as hosts to the men who all eat together on the sidewalks. The women, who have prepared all the food, stay behind the walls of their compounds and eat with other women in their family. The children sometimes eat with the women but often are out on the sidewalk eating with the men and playing in the street.
|Huge silver platters are filled with falafel, feta cheese, fried chicken, salad and pita bread. A young man or the man of the house will take it to the arranged place on the street for all the men to enjoy when breaking the fast. (Photo: Internet)|
Ramadan also concentrates on building the self-acceptability of every Muslim. By conducting prayers and meditations in the mosques, the muslims are made to create a bond between them and Allah. They are encouraged to do good deeds like helping the poor and the needy by giving them food, care, and love. Muslims often relish buying gifts for their family and friends.
|This is my favourite part of Sudanese food: the sweet treats and desserts. Yum. These are served after the meal. I hope we're invited when the fast ends in September! (Photo: Internet)|