Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ramadan’s Digest (Part I)


Ramadan is about the purification of spirit and soul. It is about reflection, self assessment, prayer, reading the Quran, and ceasing of verbal sins (gossip, lying, swearing). It is about self control. It is about feeling with the less fortunate. It is about detoxification. Above all this, it happens to be about fasting from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

It is a great opportunity to getting one’s body accustomed to less food than it is used to and, more importantly, less than it usually wants. Coincidentally, in Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (which I didn’t read by the way), it is mentioned that it takes 30 days to build a habit. Ramadan just happens to be 30 days.

When the moon is sighted people rush to the supermarkets and push carts full of food to the checkout counter. The checkout counters beeping seem endless. People buy everything there is that goes in the mouth. The month of stomach cleansing, detoxing and dieting has begun.

Come sunset, a cannon is fired to declare the kick-off to eating time (an Ottoman habit to ensure that the loud bang of the cannon can be heard in all fasting neighbourhoods), a suitable start to the state of panic that overcomes everybody Read the rest of this entry


Dear Karam,


I want you to know that your parents have tried everything they could so you do not end up being born in Iran. Nothing racists towards the country, but they felt being a Palestinian with a Syrian issued Travel Document born in Tehran will be a limiting factor to your movement.

We live in tough times with a lot of nations playing a game that most of us don’t understand, but leave us from that; I don’t really understand politics to care much about it. See your maternal grandfather, may God have mercy on his soul, had faith in the nation. When a certain lion was forming the Ministry of Electricity in the country your grandfather lived in after being dispersed from Palestine, your grandfather’s position at that time was to facilitate the planning done by a German company to the laying of the country’s electric power grid. They were so impressed with your grandfather’s capabilities that they offered him a position in their plant in Germany. A government employee to the Ministry of Electricity didn’t make much in those days, but he refused to leave, because he had faith. Read the rest of this entry