Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The First Day

Ramadan began in Libya today. Apparently a day earlier than everywhere else in the world except an area of Iraq. Most other countries will start fasting tomorrow.

Last night the traffic in Tripoli was horrendous and the supermarkets were packed with entire families. It was crazy. I've had all my shopping done except for the vegetables and meat for about two weeks. I took the kids out for a drive last night just to watch the madness. Just getting into a parking area of a shop we often go to was almost impossible. Inside they had added an extra cash register to try to handle the crowds (but it didn't really make that much of a difference). Why on earth people had waited so late to do their shopping is a mystery to me. But the kids and I enjoyed watching them all. We drove around town at a snail's pace. The kids chose oldies from the 70s to listen to and we stopped and got shawarma on the way home.

Other than the God awful Libyan soup, I don't cook many Libyan dishes during Ramadan. We tend to eat pretty light, keeping to rice, baked chicken and various salads. Nothing fried and none of those time consuming (in my opinion time wasting) dishes are prepared. And I cook early so I am out of the kitchen by 2:30 or 3. Thank God for the invention of the microwave!

As a rule Libyans eat sitting on the floor in the sitting room - in front of the television. Not in my house - in the kitchen, on the table, everyone has a separate dish (and we use proper silverware). My kids and husband complain from time to time, but there are just some things that I refuse to budge about. They are more than welcome to go spend Ramadan elsewhere and occasionally they do go to a relative's house to eat. Then they come home with stories about how so and so's bratty little kids spilled soup on the carpet and how their cousins grabbed up all the pizza and stuffed themselves. It's interesting living in a multi-culti household sometimes.

After eating my kids like all Libyans always watch television. I think Ramadan is probably the only time of the year that anyone ever watches the Libyan channel. They put on all kinds of special programs during the month and they are not necessarily religious ones either, usually comedies and other fun things like a Libyan version of Candid Camera. Today they had a comedy with a typical family in Ramadan:

Praying together before eating.

Eating at trays on the floor. Notice the men have a separate tray from the women.

And of course the television is blasting away the entire time .....

Happy Ramadan!


  1. Ramadan Mubarek Auntie Khadija!

  2. Happy Ramdan and Wish Ya the Forgiveness from Allah

  3. hi.mabrook aleak ramadan khadija
    i think it good to know others culture.from your writing i feel you are fed up from our triditional life. this is once a year and we are waiting all the year to approach this month.any way have a good time and again thank you for your blog

  4. God afwul Libyan soup????!

    Libyan soup is the best part of ramadan! At least in the beginning!

    And I L O V E sitting on the floor eating; mainly because most of the year we sit at the table.

    - don´t you know TV is essential!?

    Ramadan kareem to you and your family!

  5. Wish you all ramadan mubarak wa kareem !

  6. RaMaDaN MuBaRaK tO yOu and All Your Family.
    forgive Me.

  7. RaMaDaN MuBaRaK tO yOu and All Your Family.
    forgive Me.

  8. Ramadan mubark khadija
    you are a good writier and i like to read your blod, however, u r not as good in writing as in photographing, whish to see more pics esp for the competition "Where is this", all the best and have a good time.

  9. I love Libyan soup always have. I don;t live in Libya now but I make Libyan soup even during non-Ramadan times. That said, a whole month of Libyan soup would be too much. Growing up, my mom always switched between a bunch of different soups. I think I will make Harrira Next.

    Also, in my family we ate on a table with separate plates and silver wear. Maybe it's not the norm but a lot of people I know in Libya do that.

    But seriously, Why don't you like Libyan soup?

  10. Hi Teri,

    Back again. I wonder how your world is today? I love Libyan soup, I ate it all the way through my 3rd pregnancy and when all this mess is over I'm going to make you send me your Libyan soup recipe. Thinking of you Teri and looking forward to seeing you back and line.



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