Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happiness is an Iftar tent

Another Ramadan. As always, even far from the Middle East, it sparks the hope of change, similar to the irrational expectations of the New Year. But unlike New Year’s Eve, this is a non-stressful marker that brings acceptance rather than regret. (It probably helps that it doesn’t involve alcohol and other enablers of things that are good ideas at the time.)

Perhaps it's just that Ramadan is a reminder that the moon will wax and wane, in spite of us, as surely as the tides turn. Eid will come, and then Diwali. Soon it will be a fun Christmas and then, with the assurance of a recurring nightmare, will come New Year’s Eve.

But for now, there is still the small benediction whenever someone says Ramadan Kareem. There are hummous, fatoush and fatayer, tall fruit juices, small goblets of Turkish coffee to take you into the night, and friends to share it with. I can't think of anything more convival than Iftar. And I know you'll remember me when the fruity shisha smoke curls up into the warm night air, and there is chatter and someone laughing too much over nothing.

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