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Ramadan 2020: Preparations disrupted?

The month of Ramadan, the holiest period in the Muslim world, is generally a very festive and unifying period. But in these times of pandemic, it gets difficult to plan and prepare for it...

The beginning of Ramadan is scheduled for April 23 this year. During this period, to get closer to God, millions of faithful people fast from sunrise to sunset, pray, do good deeds and so on. This holy month is also usually marked by a very important social imprint with daily meetings during the iftar (the breaking of the fast), which often take place in large public places.

 

It goes without saying that in today’s global health context, this kind of event is to be totally banned. With a curfew set in many countries right now, such as Egypt or Tunisia, one can only predict a month of Ramadan that will be gloomier than usual.

 

Habits upside down 

In Islam, the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar) is the period during which God is said to have revealed the first verses of the Qur’an to his Prophet Muhammad. He would even have done so during one of the last ten nights of this holy month: the night of Power. And this is again a special period, during which many worshippers choose to live and sleep in the mosque in order to dedicate themselves fully to their religion. Another detail that may be completely disrupted by COVID-19. 

 

Preparations disrupted 

The weeks leading up to the beginning of Ramadan, which is to say “right now”, are usually devoted to preparations. Ramadan is the month when consumption is at its highest. However, due to the “foresight” purchases made throughout the world, many store shelves are currently empty, or almost. It is therefore difficult to get the ingredients needed to prepare the many traditional dishes prepared during this holy month. This is all the more true for large families, who have to make substantial purchases, even though many stores have put in place restrictions on quantity in order to cope with the “shopping frenzy” of some… 

 

Difficulties on both sides of the mirror 

While the period may be more complicated than usual for the consumer, the same is true for merchants. Many have been forced to close their doors, indefinitely for the unluckiest… Ramadan, which is often a high point of commerce for restaurants, bakeries, market stallholders, and other artisans, is looking very different this year… 

 

 

Also, while all the faithful are required to fast, there are many accommodations due to special circumstances, such as for children, pregnant or menstruating women, travellers, and, of course, the ill. The Covid-19 is no exception to the rule and Muslims affected by the virus be released from their duty until they get better. 

 

Eid in half-tone 

Every year, Ramadan ends with one of the most important celebrations in Islam: Eid El-Fitr. Three days of festivities marked by the arrival of the full moon. Gifts, clothes, family outings and festive meals are usually on the menu, but this year, nothing is less certain…