Tag Archives: iftaar

Back Home, At Last

Finally home! Settled again, we swiftly joined the Ramadan time, and are enjoying our moments of calm now. It’s summer, so no school for Dori, and fasting, so not much activities going on except the iftaars at my mother-in-law, which is always loud and vivid experience with so many family members gathered at once, starved and longing some Vimto and a piece of food. My MIL cooks great and enjoys a lot of rice and مرق, sambusak, spicy soups, herbs and bread. Quite traditional Arab cuisine, but really tasty – especially in Ramadan!
It’s our third day back home and sand already got up to greet us as well, so today no open-window-heater-style I do time to time to warm up the ACed room of mine.


The routine view from my window

Half of Ramadan is still in front of us and قرقيعان was celebrated yesterday and the day before, with kids dressed up in traditional Kuwaiti attires singing a song for treats, door to door – a bit comparable to Halloween or Easter in Czech, but more traditional and definitely not a derivative of any of mentioned above, but a very old tradition. Although I have to say that the maid armies kind of spoiled the traditional feeling, as well as some parties were simply going in jeans and T-shirts, so shame on you families! – قرقيعان is a nice tradition and Kuwait should take care of that heritage in a proper way, it would be such a shame to forget it.

Ramadan, Moving and Such

The month of Ramadan is in the middle, we’ve finally got used to its own specific rhythm in Kuwait, full of not doing much things (unless really very utterly necessarily needed) during the light time and trying to get everything done after iftaar. Iftaar or fatoor is a special dinner during the fasting month of Ramadan, made usually big and stuffing, it’s a first meal of the day during this time and whole families are gathering for it’s occasion, day by day, the whole month; to wait for the adhan – and in case of Shias wait another few minutes after the muezzin announces the prayer time – and with that break the fasting and enjoy the noisy, vivid meeting of parents, children, grandchildren, spouses and relatives. Needless to say that already crazy people get much crazier, especially drivers, trying to speed up as much as possible to get the first bite; blinkers not working, lights not being valid for them and speed bumps serving as launching pads for shooting the cars to the moon, as many people plainly ignore them and literally fly over them. Kuwaiti speed bumps are big, and the cars suffer.
Than all the cacophony leaves to pray and get again together at a tea, desserts and tons and tons and tons of traditional sweets, watching TV, chit chatting and being really loud once again. People come and leave till the time of suhur, which could be best described as a Ramadan late-dinner-early-breakfast, small meal and drink before the morning prayer comes and starts the whole fasting round again.
All that is happening in a pretty narrow time period, iftaar in Kuwait starts roughly quarter to seven in the evening, and my husband’s family gets suhur between the midnight and two o’clock in the morning, with fajr being shortly after 4 am. I’m not personally sure about till when Sunni sisters and brothers drink or eat, but we’ve got into the custom to end all the meals about half an hour before the adhan sounds, to be sure we didn’t invalidate our fasting.
Sometimes I just feel like Alice in Wonderland, this being my first Ramadan in an Islamic country and getting around this many members of family is exhausting – I’m quite a lone wolf and these meetings get really big and loud. But it’s interesting and fun experience, so different from our very quite, starving days in Britain, where the day is impossibly long and the country doesn’t change it’s tempo for the month unlike here; here the shops and malls and offices change their working hours to much shorter during the forenoon, noon or very early afternoon, and than re-open again after the evening prayer and keep open much longer till the night, ten, eleven, even longer. It makes it possible to make the fasting more pleasant for most of the people, and especially now when the Holy Month comes during the summer time, which is really hot, makes the thirst manageable even if you got some of the errands running.

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We’ve finally moved to our new flat in Rumaithiya, painted and mostly furnished, with only small things left to bring and hang and sort. As we’re still in the struggle with officers and judges regarding some officialities, we’re not entitled to a house helper yet, so it’s up to me to run through the flat and clean till I think that I won’t ever need a treadmill because I burn so much fat just sweeping, wiping, vacuuming and polishing the seven rooms and five bathrooms, taking about four hours a day to do it (and I feel partially sorry for the house keeper, because our high fibre carpets are damn resisting all the good intentions, as well as our uber-comfortable soft and fluffy sofas, which have that kind of material that not only catches all the dust and dirt and hairs, it attracts them and gathers them on purpose, I firmly believe). But, eventually, she gets paid for that.
Our two cute tomcats from Beyrouth breeding station are on the way as I’m typing this entry, flying from Prague to Frankfurt and than from there to Kuwait, and I keep on thinking of them and wishing and praying that they survive their very long and exhausting route in tact, safe and sound, and we’ll welcome them either during this night or by tomorrow morning. Inshallah they will be all right, keep them in your minds, please!

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