My first memory of Ramadan goes back to the 1990s when I was a child. During this period, Ramadan used to come during the hot summer days.
I remember an old man called Abu Bakr who used to live in our neighbourhood. He lived alone in a small old house with a blue door and windows.
We used to take a plate of whatever we’d cooked to his house and say: “This is so you can break your fast”. Sharing plates of food and meals with our neighbours is a great tradition of ours. It shows friendship and solidarity.
We used to laugh about our plate going all around the neighbourhood and then coming back to us because everyone sent something to each other during the holy month of Ramadan.
I have lots of wonderful memories like these from my childhood. I particularly remember how my friends and I would compete over who could fast for longer! Mind you, I can’t remember who won.
What I do remember is that the weather was hot and the hours were long until Maghreb time when dusk hit.
Sadly I don’t remember my first iftar. But, what has stuck in my mind is my father making salad before Maghreb and reading from the Qur’an. He’d always tell us to pray to Allah before the call of prayers, saying:
Heaven’s doors are open at this moment. Ask Allah what you want.
However, as energetic hungry children, we were more interested in diving into our steaming hot bowl of soup!