Ramadan Kareem!

Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. The month where the Muslims in the world fast for 30 days or a bit less, just before the Fitr celebration. Fitr= “Festival of Breaking the Fast”.
They fast from the first light of dawn, before sunrise (Al fajr) until the sunset (Al Maghrib) (which is differs from country to country) in Lebanon it’s 7:30 PM today and the days will get longer with each day, about one minute per day that’s it. Number of fasting hours depends on the sunset timing, while people fast 11 hours in Argentina, they fast 20.45 hours in Murmansk, Russia!
People wake up before the dawn for what we call “Suhur” or “pre-dawn meal”  to eat something or drink which is around 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM. You can eat before you sleep as well, you don’t need to wake up for Suhur.

People greet each other’s with the sentence “Ramadan Kareem” i.e. Ramadan is generous, and the reply is “Allah Akram” i.e. God is more generous.

The Musaharti or Ramadan drummer is a person who carries a drum and walks around the streets in the middle of the night and beats hard and ask people to wake up for the Suhur meal or sing songs praising God. This tradition goes back to the Ottoman Era.

Couldn’t find a video from Lebanon, will post one from Turkey since they are the ones who invented this tradition.

Of course when the prayer starts in the Mosque, then it’s a sign of both Al Fajr (dawn) and Al Maghrib (sunset). (Salat Al Fajr and Salat Al Maghrib). Salat=prayer.
The Muslims Sunni started today, part of the Muslims Shia as well and the other Muslims Shia groups are fasting tomorrow.

As a diverse country, we share our occasions and many Lebanese people have Christian mother and Muslim father and vice versa (or Sunni and Shia as well in the same family) so they fast in Ramadan and they celebrate Christmas and Easter as well.
As I mentioned before for my regular readers, I have friends from all religions, so the first day of Ramadan I’m always the first guest on the Iftar table of course (how convenient) :D. I can’t call myself a guest since I’m practically part of the family.
I’m there before the Iftar to taste all the food if they need more salt, peppers, spices…I enjoy this! Even though I used to fast Ramadan, I did it probably for couple years as I also read the Holy Quran because I wanted to know other religions than Christianity: the religion I was born into.

Today, the moment my boss arrived, he asked me: are you fasting? I said no, so he said: why you’re becoming faithless and disbeliever!
Of course he was joking since him, as a Muslim born doesn’t believe in God and I’m a Christian and used to fast Ramadan (the time I used to not remove the gold cross from around my neck).
He walks around telling everyone that I used to fast! OMG!

Iftar is “eating after you were fasting” and Ramadan Iftars are always full of variety of food but the major that you find on every table are the Soup (Shorba) and Fattoush (Kind of salad known here in Lebanon). My mother makes the best Fattoush (not negotiable sorry folks) 😀

These two are the main and then you can have main dishes such as rice and chicken, Mloukhieh, Bamieh, Kullaj…Each family has a different menu from the Lebanese homemade food or barbecue and Mezza.

The Kullaj always makes me laugh because each time I eat it; I say OMG I never tasted this before to tease my friend! Until it became our joke and it’s so damn tasty!

Usually when the Adhan or Azaan is called out by the muezzin from mosque declaring the sunset time, first thing most people do, they eat a date or drink water; some just eat immediately the soup because if they eat a date or drink water, they will not be able to eat properly.

Dates are so important to the Muslim world; The Prophet was once reported to have said, “People in a house without dates are in a state of hunger.”
Dates boast many vital nutrients, plus they are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. They contain vitamin A and numerous B-complex vitamins necessary for building healthy body tissue and muscle. Dates also contain many minerals, including magnesium, iron, phosphorous, copper, calcium and potassium. One date contains more potassium per weight than a banana. Additionally, dates have high sugar intake, making them Mother Nature’s candy for mortals.

Stressing these health benefits, the Prophet said to break the fast in the month of Ramadan with a date.

The Qur’an states that Mary was advised to eat dates while in labor with Jesus, to ease childbirth and strengthen the body. Experiments have also shown that dates contain stimulants that strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last months of pregnancy.

Most Lebanese restaurants make organized Iftars and special offers with different menus, formulas and kind of food. And usually the family gatherings are the best and many invitations from the extended family occur during this month.  But there’s also the outdoor Iftar with friends or family sometimes as an opportunity to catch up and have a good time.
Our favorite of all times is Leila restaurant.

Of course it’s always better not to exaggerate and make lot of food then throw it away, better to give the less fortunate as well and never throw food.

Jallab is a type of fruit syrup popular in the Middle East made mainly of grape molasses, grenadine syrup, and rose water, then smoked with Arabic incense. Jallab is very common during Ramadan.
And the sweets oh well, I don’t want to tease you but there are wide variety and the most common is Kullaj Ramadan.

One of my favorite ads for Jallab for the Lebanese company: Kassatly Chtaura. (No I’m not paid for these ads haha)

It’s important to mention here that Islam is not what they’re making you believe it is, Islam is a peaceful religion and Prophet Mohammad was a peaceful man that was called “the truthful, the trustworthy” long before Islam, he preached moderation and social reform and forgiveness, He condemned racism and tribalism and he warned his followers of those who will commit crimes in the name of Islam. (ISIS phenomenon)

He said:

“In the last days of this world there will appear some young foolish people who will use (in their claim) the best speech of all people (i.e. the Qur’an) and they will abandon Islam as an arrow going through the game. Their belief will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have practically no belief), so wherever you meet them, kill them, for he who kills them shall get a reward on the Day of Resurrection.”

What I want to say that Muslims are not terrorists, they are not ISIS or other extremist groups, Muslims are peaceful and loving people, ISIS are group of Mercenaries and criminals, paid by very high authorities and institutions to ruin this world, to ruin the relationships between the west and the Arab world and to keep the people fighting infinitely in the name of God and religions!

I’m sorry if you don’t know this truth, but you should because it’s as clear as the sun!

And no I’m not a Muslim, I believe in god in my own way even if I was a Christian, I don’t agree on many things that Christians do in the name of Jesus as well! I don’t agree on 99% of what the Church is doing in the name of Jesus and I hate all men of religions!
When I find good priests or nuns or Sheikhs, I will not deny that at all, just to be fair.

Ramadan Kareem to all the people of the world especially the Lebanese people and my friends.
May it be a holy month to you and your loved ones and Sawm Mubarak (Blessed fasting).

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed.
The purpose of this post is not religious so appreciate if I don’t have lectures in religion if I missed some information.

Huguette Antoun – May 6th 2019

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104 Comments »

  1. Kan lazem ykoon fe kteer akel bishahe? 😍😂

    I really love how you chose to talk about Ramadan and Islam in general when you’re not a Muslim, but still, you respect the religion as it is. Deeply appreciated 😊

  2. Yes, sad that the world is what it is and it make us believe what some people want. I don’t think Muslims are terrorists but unfortunately all terrorists are Muslims…😓 What it bothers me the most is that innocent people die because of this…😓
    However, I live in Singapore and I’m surrounded by Muslims, definitely friendly and nice people. What a feast with all this tasty food 😋 The only thing I don’t like are the dates 🤪 Thank you Huguette for this lovely post! 🌷

    • I agree « all terrorists are muslims » but ever wondered what a coincidence? If they weren’t muslims, the conspiracy doesn’t work (personal opinion)
      For an example few only mentioned the Australian man that killed the people praying in the mosque in New Zealand 2 months ago…
      But I get you very well and I’m sure the people in Singapore are friendly and you should have some Iftar haha😊 you will love it especially that you enjoy food 😍
      Luckily I love dates so much even before knowing their good benefits but of course many don’t 😊
      Have a great time and appreciate your kind interaction as always ❤️

  3. Wow, well written. This is so beautiful. 😍😍😍I wish to learn more about the Muslim culture.
    P.S.- when will humans make a device so that food can be eaten through screens cuz oh boy am I dying of hunger 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍×infinity

  4. That was some heavy information for me who has no religion. But like you I was born Christian before I get out of it.
    I don’t have much to comment today because as bad as it sounds I know nothing. All I know is that the food photos makes me want to eat like crazy.
    I wish you a happy Ramadan though. 😊

    • Thank you for reading dear Jess and don’t worry at all , I appreciate you stopping by and reading despite the subject is not really interesting to you 😊 food is certainly delicious and hope someday you’ll taste them all 😊 thank you for the lovely wishes 💕

      • I wouldn’t said that it was uninteresting. Rather I’m more clueless about it, so I can only sit and listen (or in this case read) haha 😀 still a lovely post. And since you’ve mention the dishes names maybe I can search the recipes when I have the chance 😋

      • clueless is good, we learn new things then 😊 oh I will remove the dish names right a way 🤪🤪
        well unfortunately each country dishes are best made by its citizens so best of luck 😊

      • 😂 You’re so mischievious! I better hurry and write down these names before you decide to erase it for real. 😂
        I agree. Local dishes are best made by those who knows it by heart.

      • Oh! I’d like to try the Shorba, Kullaj, and Jallab (but this seemed impossible. I have no idea where to get rose water that won’t cost a fortune huhu 😭 )

      • hahaha Rose water? my parents make the best Rose water! pure essence, I can’t even stand the smell of rose water! there’s the rose water and the orange blossom water (in Arabic : Ma’a el ward and ma’a el zahr) Lebanese use both in many sweets and their benefits are great also for skin and other stuff
        When someone is traveling to Spain, I will send you bunch of rose water or you know what? I will send you the Kullaj, and the Jallab and Shorba (but not homemade, you need to add water and boil it and it’s delicious) But stop crying now before I change my mind hahaha

      • Hahaha 😂 Thanks Hug. You’re a sweetheart. You’re comment just made my day and impressed. I was not aware that it rose water can be homemade.

      • 😊😊😊 for real, it’s not that hard😁 yes rose water can be made at home with a special tool and right flowers, and everything that is homemade is way better than what you buy from market of course 👌

      • So true! If I can do it at home. I will. That’s my policy. I believe my son love me for it because most of the sweets and “ice cream” (embedded with stuff he refused to eat otherwise) is homemade and he keeps demanding me to make it like I’m his slave or something 😂

      • Yes same here my parents believe in this and always prefer natural and homemade
        Little Orion is happy then 😁 that’s great you don’t find lot of kids that love the homemade sweets and food so it’s okay to be his slave 😂

      • We agree on that. There are times when I encounter some really bratty kids and all I want is hung them up and demand them to gain some manners.

  5. Ramadan Kareem! 😊🙏
    My mouth is watering after reading the post! I am hungry now!😂😂
    And, very true! We must not label people ‘cruel’ or terrorist’ just because they belong to a certain religion! Every religion preaches peace!🙂

    • Thank you so much for reading and for the kind and wise words 😊
      Sorry I made you all hungry hahah wish I can invite you all to taste all this food 😊
      Judging and labeling is always wrong, it’s harder when the conspiracy is big and big countries are part of it, the truth will be lost sometimes forever!
      Thank you so mush for stopping by 😊 enjoy your day

      • It’s always a pleasure to read your posts!🙂
        I know, even I wish that I could have tasted all of that delicious food!😞
        Very true. Judging and labelling are shallow and flakey tasks,which are often done without the overall understanding of the character of the person, hence, they have been and will always be unfair!
        I sincerely hope that the truth isn’t lost in this case!
        Have a great day ahead!😊

      • If I may ask your name? I like to address people with their names 🙂
        You never know what life can bring you or take you, you’ll probably do!
        When you seek the truth, I believe you often succeed, but only few bother to
        The pleasure is all mine and have a great time 😊

      • Yeah sure! My name is Gauri! 🙂 I am so sorry, I should have mentioned that earlier! awkward laugh!
        I can’t wait to taste all of that delicious food! yummy
        Very true! Seeking truth is a responsibility rather than a choice! When we avoid to seek it, we are running away from that responsibility! 🙂
        You too, have a great time! 🙂 🙂

      • Nice to know you Gauri 😊 dont worry many don’t mention their names and don’t like to either 😊
        Thank you for the exchange and for the kindness
        Will catch you later I guess 😊

  6. My best friend is muslim and he started Ramadan yesterday, he explained me how it works and all what i can do just to understand him and to support him. I dont like when people push you to believe in what their are believing. We are free to believe in whatever we want, God, Aliens or even nothing. Great post, you explaining it clearly, some parts was funny😁👍by the way i have tried those cookies, which goes after the pictures of the tasty drink, bonne journee Huguette!!!❤️

    • Thank you for reading and for the kind interaction🙏🏻 yes I know what you mean and I don’t accept anyone to impose anything on me! I respect all religions but you should respect me as well! Otherwise fuck off…

      Yes some parts were funny, only few could guess haha
      Appreciate the good read and nice interaction 🤗 bonne journée à toi aussi ❤️

      • In todays world respect is very rare thing, not only in the subject of religion, but simple respect for older people, respect at work, if you are the boss of someone doesnt mean you have the right to treat people your way❤️ if you see the cleaning lady just finished her job, why dont you respect her job and slash the poo? If i think about every day, what i see around me, huh😁CPR please😁but this is another topic😁

      • Manners and respect are so rare indeed!! When I see them, I feel I want to grab the person and kiss them! Really 🤗
        They are so hard to teach… unfortunately
        CPR indeed 😂 damn!!!
        Appreciate the exchange ❤️😊

  7. I have always believed that Lebanon is the land of diversity and a beautiful country with beautiful people , and meeting you was the proof of my believes , such a nice post and full of tasty food OMG 😍 I would love to taste Fattouche , I’ve heard this name in a movie , and I know that is a Lebanese specialty , it has a lot of vegetables and I love that ❤❤ Ramadhan Kareem dear 😘😘😘

    • Oh dear Souad thank you for the lovely and kind words ❤️😊😊 I don’t know if I asked you from which country you are 🤔
      I feel happy when people speak highly about Lebanon 🇱🇧 😊 thank you for reading and for the loveliest interaction 😊 hope you will visit Lebanon and I’ll make sure you taste all Lebanese food starting with Fattoush😁❤️❤️ Ramadan Kareem to you as well dear 😘😘❤️❤️

      • Good morning Huguette 😘 I’am from Algeria actually, did you heard about it? I’ ll be glad to visit your beautiful country, now that I have a friend there it will be a good apportunity 😍😍 And of course if you never consider Algeria for a tour , please my doors are and will be open for you dear , have a pleasant day ❤❤

      • Of course I heard about Algeria 😊 so you speak a bit Arabic right? It’s an Arab country 😊 oh you’ll be more than welcome dear and will be happy to receive you 😊😊
        I’ve been in Morocco for work (Human Rights) but will consider Algeria for sure , I mean why not especially that I know a great person like you ❤️❤️😘

      • In fact, I am an Algerian Kabyle, so my native language is Kabyle. I learned Arabic in school, I speak and write well, but here in Algeria the dialectal Arabic used by Algerians is different from classical Arabic, and more difficult to learn. You’ll be more than welcome dear , I’ll make sure that you spend a very pleasant time 😍😘

      • Thank you so much for the information and so pleased to know you dear Souad 😊😊 It’s okay we have 2 languages to communicate with hahaa well it will be the same if you ever visited Lebanon certainly 😊😊😘😘

  8. Happy Ramadan! Even do I’m not a Muslim, and I don’t accept any other religion, I’m also fasting due to the fact that I have bad teeth and some of them I have removed recently from my mouth, so now I have problems with eating. Maybe I should buy myself a Smoothie machine, what do you think?

  9. I just read your post, but I don’t like it, I love it from my heart and soul.
    Thank you so much for such insightful article.
    Ramadan Mubarak. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌙🌙🌙

  10. Hi Huguette. That was certainly very informative and I have learned something new and gained a terrible hunger. No wonder you like tasting everything haha
    In relation to ISIS. Anyone in the West who has looked into them would see they have been supported by higher powers. The media are to blame for presenting a distorted view of what is really going on.
    One thing that doesn’t sit well with me though is how can someone preach forgiveness but also say to kill for an eternal reward. Aren’t those two opposing beliefs?
    So you can forgive as long as that person isn’t speaking bad of your faith or using its name for the wrong purpose. Otherwise it’s Ok?
    I hope I’m not offending here but that seems like a contradictory message.
    Anyways, hope you are well. Sorry it’s taken so long to get here.
    Much love to you 😊❤

    • First thank you for reading and commenting despite your hectic life 🙂
      Second let me tell you that what you’re mentioning about killing as an eternal award and so is not the Islam I’m speaking about here, I was so clear it’s not a religious post, I’m speaking about the Muslims and Islam I know, all those fuckers you’re mentioning are not my concern so hope it’s clear 😊 and you’re not offending because of the simple fact that I just stated
      food is just amazing hahah I’m going to gain some few pounds certainly, so glad you find the post informative 😊
      Told you don’t feel like you have to read when you don’t have time, just finish your things and the matter that you’re satisfied and doing what it takes to improve your life
      much love to you 😊❤

      • Oh right. I must’ve picked that up wrong. I thought that quote was from Mohammed. You said he talked about forgiveness then the quote that followed talked about killing. I presumed that was a quote from him. That’s where my confusion is coming from. The bit where he warns his followers of those who will commit crimes against Islam (The ISIS folks) Their belief will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have practically no belief), so wherever you meet them, kill them, for he who kills them shall get a reward on the Day of Resurrection.”
        Is he talking about ISIS folks or is that their belief you are talking about?
        I know you’re talking about the good people. People who can have a faith and be decent and treat everyone the same. I think the best people are like that no matter what they believe. Even if they don’t believe in anything.
        It’s about mutual respect really.
        Again, sorry for being absent. I had to ignore my phone for a while and was under quite a bit of emotional and practical pressure.
        Hope you’re having a great day.
        Much love always Huguette 😊❤

      • Oh no the quote is true, and he’s speaking about ISIS yes, and I posted this just to say that it wasn’t what the Islam originally or ever preached! And I would gladly kill those people! It’s not about disagreeing and having different opinions, it’s about dealing with criminals and people that lost their humanity, brain and everything…Imagine them invading your village and killing everyone and taking slaves and else…then what you would do? Because it happened and I heard survivors speaking and it was more awful than you can ever imagine!
        but yes Chris you can not believe in anything and be good, I don’t recall I attacked people here or the non believers…I just wanted to say that Islam is not what most are promoting to nowadays and the muslims I know are good people…
        That’s it , I feel weird to say this to you from among all people that I was worried they’ll misinterpret my post , oh well…
        We can’t deny people presence even if we choose not to be a part of them. Probably you should imagine yourself falling for a muslim woman, practicing her religion and respecting all her traditions but she stills perfect and your love is perfect, maybe then you can tell me if you would respect her beliefs or not despite what you choose to believe in…
        Don’t worry at all, you have a life and issues to deal with as we all have
        Best of luck to you in dealing with them all and much love 😊❤️

      • I agree with your attitude towards the inhumane people. That’s completely natural and human. I would feel the same if it happened to people I know and love. And would be willing to kill to defend them.
        My issue is with a quote that does not seem very enlightened, doesn’t rise above our human frailties, but just promotes further inhumanity. It seems a bit counter productive. Not what I would expect from an ‘enlightened’ individual. One whose vision should rise above this earthly realm. Maybe see us all as one.
        If the quote is true and it’s from Mohammed I thought Islam was based on his teachings/prophecies as he is a ‘messenger from God’.
        I’ll admit to knowing nothing about Islam. I’m trying to learn here. How can it not be what was originally Islamic if it’s a direct quote? What am I missing here?
        I never said you attacked people or non believers. I was only trying to say that there are good and bad people everywhere. Regardless of what they believe in or not.
        I get that Islam has a bad reputation in the West. I get that is a misconception. I’m just having difficulty understanding where such a quote fits into the picture. How can it not be what was preached if it is what was said?
        I’ll respect any beliefs that are respectful in their own manner. Respect must be a two way street.
        As for misinterpretation. Would you rather I said nothing and pretend to understand or would you rather have someone who seeks clarity on what was written to achieve understanding. Was that not the point of the post? To achieve clarity and understanding?
        You’ll just have to pardon my ignorance until I understand.
        Much love 😊❤

      • Let me start by this quote that made you nervous: I didn’t post it to enlighten anyone or to preach about Islam, so if you want to know more about this religion, I’m not the right person at all, I don’t care about Islam…you can ask people that care to preach about it.
        This quote is because I mentioned ISIS, I said ISIS is not Islam and I said that the prophet has a gift and he knew ISIS will come, so he said: kill them when they come. You can of course not believe this but this is what I wanted from publishing this quote.
        No you’re not ignorant dear Chris so I hope you’re getting it now. If you want to seek clarity, you need to ask a man of religion, not in the right position at all to give you this clarity. And this means I want you to pretend? Not at all! But I’m speaking and you’re not listening…you just read this quote and lost your mind…
        And it’s not “my attitude” it’s a universal true for all sane people, no individual will accept what ISIS or any similar terrorists did or do, not now not ever! And by the way you don’t need to accept anything at all here, you need to understand what I’m saying here, you can say fuck Islam and fuck Christianity I wouldn’t care dear, just get my point here and I’ll be more than grateful and sorry but it’s obvious that this made me mad so I won’t pretend I’m not. So I’m sorry in advance and have a good night!

      • Huguette. It’s not that I wasn’t listening. I was trying to understand something that wasn’t making sense to me. I don’t know if it’s a language thing or something but your initial response wasn’t exactly clear to me.
        I didn’t lose my mind. I have been perfectly calm and just seeking clarity. With all due respect it is you who has got ‘mad’ because of what I’ve said. I was only asking questions ffs.
        You’re not the only country with terrorists. We’ve had them since the 70s. The same feeling from sane people towards people like that exists here too. Everyone knows they are assholes.
        I do think there has been miss-communication and miss-understanding here. Nothing more. I am sorry for that. It was not my intention.
        Good night to you too.

  11. Huguette! Lovely post…thank you for all the wonderful information. BUT I HAVE TO TELL YOU…you are making me hungry! LOL The food all looks delicious. I am terrible at fasting. Food is always on my mind. I respect others that have the ability to do it though. &*&

    • Thank you dear Elizabeth 😀 Oh you have no idea! I didn’t stop eating in this month, I’m invited all the times to Iftars hahah glad I still managed to have great fitness results
      I used to fast, I can stay 2 days without food and water, I guess I’m a camel in another life hahah there was time when I was really religious and used to fast from Thursday (before Easter) until Saturday, I was one step from being a saint I guess 😀 And I fasted Ramadan with my friends 2 or 3 times
      Now I hardly pray :/
      Glad you loved the posts ❤ ❤

  12. A very informative and useful post. We have neighbours on both sides of the house who observe Ramadan very strictly and are among the best neighbours one could have. I believe it is important that we teach young people about other faiths if we are to reduce and remove some of the hatred that exists today.

    • Thank you for reading and for the valuable comment as well! You are right, we should certainly teach them about other faiths, and we should teach people that good are bad are not related to any religion or race or gender or else, it’s related to the education these people have received and their choices they decide to take in life…Appreciate sharing your experience!

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