What are you looking forward to the most?
What’s Ramadan to you? Is it an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with Allah by fasting and praying, or a chance to reflect on the past year, both spiritually and materialistically? Maybe you want to reconnect with family and strengthen those relationships? Or perhaps you’re thinking broader and want to figure out your place in the community and how to give back to it?
To us at Destination Sharqiya, Ramadan is all of the above and more. Irrespective of what Ramadan is to you, we can agree that there are certain aspects of this holy month that are universal; the little things that bind us together in Ramadan and that we love so much.
- The spiritual experience that comes with praying taraweeh every night. This strengthens one’s connection with Allah and builds a connection with the community.
- Friends and family are welcomed to drop by at all hours of the night. We end up staying late talking and laughing till dawn. Something we don’t normally do as Sharqawis, being early birds and all!
- Gargee’an! (Non-Sharqawis: you wouldn’t understand.)
- An excuse to wear all those pretty jalabiyat every day!
- Henna, all the time, every time. Usually we’d need a special occasion to get these beautiful and intricate patterns drawn on our hands. Thanks Ramadan!
- Seeing the spirit of Ramadan everywhere. From the lights on the trees and the decorations in restaurants and storefronts, to the offers and deals on food everywhere.
- Ramadan futoor staples like gaimat, Vimto and samboosa!
- Seeing volunteers in the street giving out Iftar boxes right before Maghrib.
- Generosity, both material and in spirit, that manifest in thousands of Iftar tents popping up all over Sharqiya, and the joy on the faces of the hundreds of thousands of people that go to them.
- The desire and joy that comes from spending time together with our families; whether it’s breaking our fast, watching Ramadan TV programs, going to pray together or arguing about which outing has the highest priority – shopping, visiting a relative or watching the game?Eidiyya! (Unless you’re the one giving it.)
- The aromatic scents of street food such as tikka, baleela and roasted corn filling the night air.
- The self-reflection each and every one of us feels when we fast, when we pray and when we give, which is the hallmark and purpose of the holy month.