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Palestinians share rituals of last 10 days of Ramadan

Al-Manara Circle in Ramallah decorated for Ramadan. (AN photo/Mohammed Najib)
Al-Manara Circle in Ramallah decorated for Ramadan. (AN photo/Mohammed Najib)
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30 Apr 2022 12:04:01 GMT9
30 Apr 2022 12:04:01 GMT9

Mohammed Najib

RAMALLAH: Ramadan will end in just a few days, and Palestinians share their rituals of how they spend the last 10 days of the holy month.

During the last 10 days of Ramadan, Duha Asous, a sexagenarian from Burin village near Nablus, makes cakes with dates, walnuts and cinnamon to distribute to neighbors and the poor. “Now, if you walk in the streets of Burin, you can smell the cake from a meter’s distance,” Asous proudly tells Arab News.

Asous reminisces about the Ramadan of 40 years ago when they would bake breads and potatoes with chicken in a wood-burning oven, the flavor of which she misses today.

On Friday, Asous visits Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with her friends and family to
perform Friday prayers.

“It is an opportunity as we cannot reach Jerusalem throughout the year, except in the month of Ramadan.”

Sheikh Talib Al-Silwadi, one of the most prominent Islamic preachers and guides in Ramallah, told Arab News that he urges fasting people during his Friday and daily sermons to pay Ramadan charity and zakat, annual charity money, to poor people so that they can buy what they need to celebrate Eid.

Al-Silwadi also advises people to do more good deeds and worship, especially in the last 10 days of Ramadan, to obtain double reward from God.

Hundreds of people also sit for I’tikaf either in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem or nearby mosques to pray in seclusion until the Eid crescent is sighted. Many Palestinians also go to perform Umrah to Makkah; and this year has been different as for the first time in two years, since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Palestinians have traveled
for Umrah.

Then there is Al-Musaharati, where young people wake up people for sahoor and wish families a blissful Ramadan,
and in return get cash or gifts as an appreciation for voluntarily keeping the centuries-old tradition alive.

There is also a lot of hustle and bustle in the market after dinner until sahoor as people excitedly prepare for Eid Al-Fitr.

The streets are decorated with colorful lights and lanterns, and there are numerous stalls selling delectable corns, beans and boiled chickpeas dishes, in addition to tea and coffee.

Ramallah’s two famous ice cream shops — Rakab Ice Cream and Baladna Ice Cream — treat adults and children to their famous product. Some people also treat themselves to shawarmas and falafel sandwiches after binging on heavy traditional dishes for almost a month.

On Saturdays, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who live in Jill, Triangle and the Negev go shopping to the West Bank markets, where goods can be bought at a lower price than in Israel.

Some people go out for long walks to enjoy the last nights of Ramadan while others host friends and families and for iftar meals before the holy month ends.

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