Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ramadan observance in Beirut more muted than elsewhere

by Justin Salhani

This article first appeared in The Atlantic Post

BEIRUT, Lebanon – The holy month of Ramadan is an important holiday for the world’s Muslims, including those living here in Beirut. Lebanon’s capital, however, observes the month in a more muted fashion than other Arab and Muslim capitals.

“Nothing really changes in Beirut during Ramadan. In other countries I’ve been to, like Egypt, Ramadan is more festive, and Cairo is full of Ramadan decorations,” said Nada Zanhour, 28, an assistant director at a Beirut art gallery.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is both joyous and somber for the world’s followers of Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims are asked to fast, meaning they abstain from food, liquids and sexual activity each day. At night, Muslims break their fast at iftar as the sun goes down.

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