Tinejdad, Morocco - It is 11a.m. the ceiling fan is revolving to its highest speed, yet the sweat keeps running on my forehead and all my body.
Tinejdad, Morocco – It is 11a.m. the ceiling fan is revolving to its highest speed, yet the sweat keeps running on my forehead and all my body.
Nearly all my clothes are wet; in fact I have but “lfouqia” an extra large article of light sleeveless clothes on my bare body. Who cares about pants in such extremely hot weather! I tried to keep myself calm and cool avoiding any physical activity that may drain my reserved energy and lead me to dehydration.
I have never gone through a state of dehydration, but in respect to a piece of advice I received from a trusted friend before the beginning of Ramadan, preservation is better than sorry. Getting bored of the four walls and the deadly silence that had prevailed in the house, I took my bike and went out in hope to feel fasting in people’s faces, and to challenge my hunger and thirst.
To my utter disappointment, the streets are bare with nearly no one there. The stores are all closed except few ones. It looked like the whole village is struck by the plague or the ghosts have gained control over life in our small city. The sun has allied with thirst and imposed a curfew over all the streets probably until about an hour before the “Ftour” Athan calls.
The few people whose stores are open are immersed in a movie under restless fans, some are sitting quite like mice on their chairs listening to a religious lecture and others dip their faces lazily in computer screens. Is Ramadan scary to the extent that it bars men from engaging actively in their daily activities as they always do? Obviously, it seems so for many men except those brave labors who are still committed to their harsh jobs with empty stomachs, but strong faith is their only support. What about women?
Women who are believed to be “weak vessels” in our culture showed more courage and strong faith during Ramadan. Culturally, women in Morocco are supposed to prepare food and do all the other tiring housework. In Ramadan, the demand for varied dishes increases thus work doubles for women. More time and energy are required to decorate the ftour tables with a lot of meals.
Women spend hours cooking for the ftour meal in kitchens that are no better than hell. They do all these hard works silently; and they endeavor so that they can prepare mouth-watering and nutritive dishes enough to feed all the members of the family. Unfortunately, in some families these sacrifices on the part of women go usually unnoticed let alone recognized and rewarded. Luckily, the Almighty standing above all beings recognizes everyone’s work, be it tiny or big, and rewards justly every person.
The main idea behind Ramadan is to recognize the hunger and thirst that the poor feel every day of the year and to put oneself in the shoes of the others, and so hopefully become kinder people. Sadly, hunger causes tempers to fray and fights to break out, but in time it brings everybody’s thoughts to the sufferings of the poor and the pain they undergo on a daily basis. It would be beyond the bounds of possibility to fast every day from dawn to sunset and beat our hunger easily without resorting to deep belief and strong faith, and whether considering the large amounts of work that women do, or the struggle of the poor we are better once we tap into that awareness.
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