Today is the start of Ramadan so have to wish everyone taking part a happy Ramadan!!!!! Its actually a really special time of the year for me during Ramadan because I feel as though I am making a stronger connection with my faith. Fasting during daylight hours is actually a way for me to understand and experience true gratitude for the amazing wealth I am blessed to have at my fingers. I am part of the small percentage of the planet who do not have a problem feeding myself, have a comfortable home with electricity and water and Internet. Telephones to connect with others, freedom of speech and on top of that and most importantly access to medical care. There are countless millions of people who do not have these things and part of the reasoning behind Ramadan for me is to give myself a reality check every year and remind myself of the many things I take for granted so very easily. My family here in Jordan also offer food to those who are less fortunate in the form of whole banquets they donate to the local mosque which has daily breakfasts and offers local people on the poverty line and the homeless to dine free of charge. For those who are not Muslim its like you know the happy spirit you experience during Christmas , no, not the stressful part buying the presents and killing yourself in shopping queues!. The peaceful feeling you get once in a while when everything has gone right and you are there next to your crackly fire with a glass of ( whatever) and the carols are playing and you have a feeling of true goodwill towards the rest of the world . So much so that if in that moment someone needy were to appear on your doorstep in the snow with a flat tire you would likely invite them in give them a drink help them fix their car and see them on their way with a mince pie in their hand. Well Ramadan is very much like this one moment . Yes there is the other part of trying to get everything in the shops and everyone a little more grumpy as their tummy's are growling. But the uniting emotion that Allah ( god) is somehow closer to us during this month makes the whole community want to be as in that one moment for the majority of the time. And that makes it magic.
I am looking forwards to the first of a month of closer family time. Every afternoon there is a buzz in my mother in law's kitchen as everyone comes together to cook the huge enormous banquet which we all enjoy at Maghreb ( which is the prayer to signal sundown). Its also been a good chance for me to have a cooking lesson or two from my mother in law who is well known for her fantastic meals. Also a good chance to have a chat over the carrots and veg preparation.