Now it’s Ramadan and we’re fasting about 15 hours give or take per day. And we’re enjoying cooking and eating together and watching TV in the evenings. It’s nice to just sit around and talk and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a very different Ramadan than what we’re used to, still. Egypt is a loud and boisterous place all the time. Ramadan in Egypt is slightly louder and more boisterous, but with different sounds. The Quran is recited over loudspeaker and people are busy in the streets, cooking under tents set up to feed the poor. Pans are washed, potatoes peeled, onions chopped. The smell of kunafa, or string pastry, being made by street vendors, wafts you in the face and you salivate. Tents pop up outside of grocery stores where the store owners sell dates, nuts, raisins, coconut and dried fruits for the desserts that are sure to be made at home. Men pushing carts filled with large glass jars of carob juice, coconut milk, sugarcane juice, and tamarind juice shout out what they’re selling.

We still drink fresh juices and have dates with milk and lots of great foods when we break fast (Iftar) during Ramadan. But the world outside our house here in Texas is not filled with the same type of life that it was in Egypt. Here we smell fresh cut grass and hear the neighbor’s lawn mower. The street vendors are selling chips and snacks from Mexico and some have ice cream. They all jingle bells on strings instead of shouting or blowing on horns. It’s the same but different.

And Randa is having a really tough time still trying to adjust to having meals with just us during Ramadan instead of dressing in her nicest clothes and catching a bus across the city to her uncle’s house for a larger Iftar with extended family.
It’ll take some time. Two years is just not enough, I guess. But it’s still Ramadan. And we’re still fasting and praying and reading Quran.

Ramadan Kareem

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