Ramadan Kareem!

 Cairo, Egypt, 2015.

Cairo, Egypt, 2015.

The month of Ramadan just started tonight at sundown here in Amman, and since this month always triggers all kinds of nostalgic emotions, I thought I would share a few favorite photos from Ramadans past.

 The Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, 2016

The Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, 2016

 Washington, DC, 2012

Washington, DC, 2012

In the Middle East, Ramadan may be filled with hangry people jonesing for that first cigarette after sundown, but it's also a special time of the year. Life and work continue on at a slower pace. Muslims fast to remember the suffering of the less fortunate, and give thanks with their family and friends with elaborate iftar meals after sundown. Curfews are lifted for teenagers and it's not uncommon to see outdoor cafes jam-packed with people of all ages until the wee hours.

 Washington, DC, 2012

Washington, DC, 2012

ramadan-iftar-05.jpg
 In 2012 I attended an interfaith iftar in Washington, DC, where I met Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, a Jesuit priest who at the time was a peace activist in Syria; he spoke beautifully, saying, "when I think of the Bible, I think in Arabic." Sadly, he was kidnapped in Syria in 2013 and is presumed dead.

In 2012 I attended an interfaith iftar in Washington, DC, where I met Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, a Jesuit priest who at the time was a peace activist in Syria; he spoke beautifully, saying, "when I think of the Bible, I think in Arabic." Sadly, he was kidnapped in Syria in 2013 and is presumed dead.

ramadan-iftar-06.jpg

Ramadan is also magical because it's the time of year when most charitable giving takes place in the Muslim world. It's also inspiring to see churches and mosques come together in the Middle East to provide free iftars for the hungry - like the Restaurant of Mercy does in Amman.

ramadan-iftar-01.jpg
 Muslims attend Tawarih prayers at the Kulliyat al-Jamea mosque in Jebel al-Weibdeh in Amman, 2016.

Muslims attend Tawarih prayers at the Kulliyat al-Jamea mosque in Jebel al-Weibdeh in Amman, 2016.

 Downtown Amman, decked out with festive lights for Ramadan, 2016.

Downtown Amman, decked out with festive lights for Ramadan, 2016.

 My husband's relatives gather around to eat Mansaf, the traditional Jordanian dish, during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan, 2016.

My husband's relatives gather around to eat Mansaf, the traditional Jordanian dish, during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan, 2016.

IMG_20160706_160705.jpg
IMG_20160606_205225.jpg

Ramadan Kareem!
رمضان كريم

IMG_20160606_204739.jpg
ramadan-02.jpg
ramadan-03.jpg