Today is 3rd roza . I mentioned to my coworker this morning that I was fasting and had to wake up really early in the morning. He didn’t have much to say to that. So I came back to my desk and started working. An hour later he walked up to me and said “I was educating myself online about fasting” and then wished me both “Ramadan Karim” and “Ramzan Mubarak”. That was an instant ice breaker and cheered me enough to share the saga of my 16 hour roza marathons with him.
Internet has put information literally at our finger tips and brought people closer. Doesn’t Wikipedia serve humanity more than many charities and religious institutions do? At least that’s my excuse for donating to Wikipedia.
Talking about Ramzan, American Ramzan is quite different than its Pakistani counterpart. Fast or not you work a full day as against half days in most Muslim countries. But then here you sit inside Air Conditioned work places while back home buildings are not centrally air conditioned; some rooms are while others aren’t. The “now you see me now you don’t” saga of electric power is another story.
When we lived in Ohio the Muslim community was smaller and tight together. We used to meet on weekend iftars (evening meals) mostly at each other’s homes and sometimes at our (then) newly built masjid. Dallas Muslim Community on the other hand, is ginormous and scattered. There are 5 very large mosques within 5 miles radius of our house and all of them offer weekend iftar programs. Thanks to dedicated volunteers, countless iftar boxes are distributed to huge gatherings at the masjid’s gym or multipurpose hall. Plus the iftar parties at people’s homes.
No matter how chaotic, I want to go to the community iftar at the masjid. My husband, my night owl works the graveyards (Yes that’s what the night shift is called in US airline industry) and since he breaks his fast at work every night, he wants to be home on the weekend. Now you see the struggle. I think its God’s plan to unite the opposites in a marriage and then just enjoy the daily show. All the married couples out there, don’t you agree?
Most times we end up making iftar together and eating at home with kids. Cooking together is considered very romantic in America. I urge my Pakistani friends who pose that their husbands never step inside the kitchen, to try this experience. Who knows it might ignite the passion!
No Ramzan is complete without Eid shopping. I remember the hum drum of Eid shopping in Karachi, hanging out late night at markets, just being mischievous. Ah Those were the days my friend! However, big cities like Dallas are not far behind. Pretty much daily, Eid Bazars are held at one location or the other selling clothes and accessories at sky rocketing prices. The home based boutiques give some good competition too. Women shop, browse, and bargain all month long. The bazars are mostly during the day though, when minions like me are at work.
Most eateries around the masjids are open whole night making favorite hangout spots before and after taraweeh (the late night long prayer). Restaurants are packed for iftar and sehri. On father’s day weekend it was hard to find a table for iftar. We had to call a bunch of booked-solid places before finding a spot. Of course I am talking about the Desi eateries which all offer Halal meat. For those who don’t know, “Halal” is slaughtered meat somewhat similar to Kosher. Ask me if you wanna know more.
Anyways, you got the picture. Ramzan is in full swing in Dallas. Eid this year is on a weekday meaning a full work day unless you chose to take your own time-off which many of us do. Now you know why we are short on time-off. There will be enormous gatherings all over the metroplex for Eid prayers (morning service) including the main Dallas Convention center. And of course the After-Party will continue for days. Happy Eid Mubarak to all in advance!!!