Ramadan in Egypt is regarded as the best time of the year. Early working hours, no sleep, amazing food, meeting up with friends and family, TV shows, and most importantly, a time of worship, or so it seems.
People often come to Egypt when they’re living abroad to live this once a year experience. You may not realize it, but you don’t really reminisce on the things you have until you loose them.
A sort of ritual in Ramadan is to go out and enjoy Iftar with a group of friends, and it’s accustomed to always book the table early, often having to stop by and pay a deposit, arrive early enough to order the food and for it to arrive on the perfect time, just five minutes before the Athan. More often than desired, the food doesn’t really taste that good and people complain about the quality everywhere, when in reality, food, TV shows, and all that comes with it shouldn’t really be the main focus.
A while ago, or just a couple of years ago actually, eating out was sort of a looked down upon thought. As one of Ramadan’s main attributes revolves on gatherings and breaking the fast, nowadays, people don’t really stay at home and appreciate the little things. A cup of water can really do incredible things; a simple date can revive your body for hours on end. That’s what Ramadan’s all about, appreciating the little things, not thinking about whether the food is good, or how the way the waiter treated you, he or she are probably fasting too and only God knows when will they break their fast and have a decent well-deserved Iftar! Have you ever stopped to think about that?
It’s a time of cleansing the body and soul, even though that concept may be mascaraed by the propaganda of who wins the most creative and thought-provoking commercials. It’s become an embedded theme throughout the years, sneaking it’s way to Ramadan’s culture in Egypt, but is that what really makes Ramadan so appealing to everyone? Stating that it’s the best time of the year and so, doesn’t it spark up the question of whether this is right or not? Isn’t Ramadan a time of worship? A time of strengthening your bond with God, participating in random acts of kindness, clearing your mind off of the hardships of life?
But as it so happens, all these factors that were once Ramadan’s core values have been taken for granted and instead exchanged with people’s anticipation of the new TV show that actor is participating in, what new abominations are the dessert industries doing to Konafa this year or where’s the best place to have Sohour.
Things maybe getting out of hand, but how can one overcome and rise above this, when it’s all around you. The thought of what to eat, what to watch and where to hang out are spread out in clever marketing ads that will make you not focus on the main picture of what Ramadan is really about.
Is Ramadan in Egypt really the best time of the year thanks to all these misleading aims? Or is it because of the environment the main aim is habituated in? These are many questions many have been asking and have failed to get a clear response. As it happens, it’s quite a debatable and possibly, a taboo topic to talk about.
Let’s hope Ramadan 2017 is richer in and mainly focused on family bonds, spirituality and good deeds.