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Egypt’s Spirit in Ramadan


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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year, it is a time of fasting, blessings, and prayers to commemorate the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad by the Holy Spirit Gabriel. It is a time when Muslims refrain from eating during daylight hours as an act of sacrifice that reminds them of the challenges of the poor.

The daily meals become limited to two, the first of which is the “iftar” which is breaking the fasting that takes place immediately with sunset. The timing of the second meal - “sohour” - is variable according to personal preference, but
usually delayed as much as possible until just before dawn. In between “iftar” and “sohour”, people are allowed to eat
and drink liberally.

After breaking the fast at sunset, the city comes to life with different activities, shopping malls and at the hotels, where Ramadan theme tents are set up and folkloric entertainment is held on a nightly basis. Sitting in one of the cafes on the Nile is also very pleasant, where there is light entertainment and good food offered. The mosques are all lit up, shops are open almost all night, the streets are decorated in Ramadan themes, and the food displayed in the shops is the customary offered especially during the holy month.

Egypt has a different flavor during the holy month. As August tends to be a warm month, it is best to plan the schedule where the most famous ancient and religious sites in Egypt are to be covered earlier in the day, followed by museums that tend to open a little later during Ramadan.

As the day gets warmer, the shopping malls such as City Stars in Nasr City suburb or First Mall in Giza, are a delight
to browse around in, where local and famous brand merchandise are displayed in shops, food outlets and other entertainment is available. There you will also find some of the better local handicrafts.

As the evening approaches and the city come to life, visitors should enjoy browsing around the medieval streets of Cairo. Especially streets like Mu’ezz Eddin, Azhar, and Khan El Khalili areas, Fostat in Old Cairo, and the famous gates and walls of Islamic Cairo. Alexandria city also has its atmosphere during Ramadan, where the sidewalk cafes by the sea, a walk on the Corniche, or a visit to Anfoushi - the fishermen’s area - and El Attarin where antique furniture and trinkets are sold, whether you are there, day or night, it is a delight. In the evening, a visit to the famous mosque, Morsi Abul Abbas area where themed decorations are hung everywhere, is a must.



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