Jewish Journal


August 27, 2011

Ramadan winding down; heat going nowhere


It’s hot in California and it’s wet on the East Coast. But for Muslims across the United States, it’s hot and dry. Ramadan is winding down, and probably not soon enough for many Muslim Americans, who have been fasting each day from food and water during one of the hottest summers on record.

I recently mentioned an NPR story about observing Ramadan in summer heat. With a little perspective after a few really hot weeks, Reuters has the general Muslim-on-the-street story. An excerpt:

Younger people like Ghaly, 36, who started fasting at age 20, have never seen a Ramadan so hot and with such long fasting hours as this one. At first, he said, Ramadan fell in December, when the daylight lasted about 10 hours.

“By the time I got thirsty, it was time to break my fast,” he said. “It was a piece of cake back then.”

These days, he tries to schedule his outside jobs before Ramadan starts. This month, he and his crew had some brickwork and exterior windows to do. They keep wet towels nearby to cool off and set up canopies and tents when they can.

“Working outside around 1 or 2 p.m., you really start to get thirsty,” he said, “It’s like you’re waiting for that minute where you break your fast, so you can get that first cup of water, which tastes incredible.”

Read the rest here.

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