every year, and particularly at this time of year, ( as some of you might remember), i used to send very animated messages to 'alert' for the onset of another ramadan, or another eid..
it would be something like the "Ahlan ramadaaaan..." song, with a complete description of the chorus, adn the ridiculousness and shrillness and beauty of the song, taht was implanted in each of our memories, regardless of whether or not we wanted it there..
or it would be drawing a picture of welad running all over the place as i sang "Aho-h geyh ya welad.."
i'm sure the humour, if any was found at all, was in the fact that i triggered a very common, an almost 'shared' imagination.. based i guess on similar backgrounds, or inevitably the same tv channels, or radio stations humming for a considerable number of years..
i think, regardless of whether or not we enjoy or celebrate ramadan, or what it realy meant or signified to us.. no one can deny that it 'COMES'...
it's not a month you arrive at, as you make your way through the year..
no , this one;
the amar el din stocks up in the supermarkets, only to suddenly vanish, and then slowly regularly make it's way back into the market in teh sufficient or demand meeting amounts.. the bala7, the crowds after noon, tilll right before the madfa3, and the eerily empty roads for the half hour or so, when everyone's gulping something down somewhere...
the non-productive hours at work.. the sudden sleeplessness, the long nights, the different sounds of tarawee7 and tahaggud prayers, often times musical, or spiritually refreshing..
el fawanees, the sweet, shisha infested 2a3dat, on a completley full stomach , adn the sweet aftertaste of atayef and konafa and bala7 el sham in your mouth..
the friends.. teh family , the family the family...
beyeegy ya welad, we ahlan ramadaaan, we bnefra7lu, we ba3den before you know it, wala lessa badry badry, and suddenly el balaleen wel la7ma, we ahlaaaaan ahlan bel 3eid. heyh heyh eyyyhh?
henna ba2a magash.
i always knew it was gonna be 'ba3d mawsal london beshwaya' we ba3deyn i knew it was el esbu3 el gay..
then it was bokra, aw ba3du..
then a few phonecalls from egypt later..
it was bokra.
and we slept the night, and bokra came..
bas bardo magash.
el welad magush. they didn't come runing through, or singing from side to side, la huwwa ganna, wala ana 3ereft afra7lu...
i waited for teh fasting to sink in..
though it is a tad more difficult, because no one else aroundyou is doing it, and actually suddenly ti seems like, barely anyone walks around without a drinking or eating something, it actually makes the sprititual aspect of fasting more apparent.
ofcourse, becuase ur starvation speaks much louder to you.
bas that's if you tried hard to find it.
i tried a great number of other ways as well..
we have a few gatherings every now and then..
and i guess teh biggest difference would be the fact that i've been working on bonding iwth the oven lately.. in an attempt to help it co-operate with me in producing food on our table..
bas still. ofcourse, everything is 'different'..
bas bardo, the fact remainds en huwwa magash..
there's something realy strong about community and culture adn togetherness, and the words, and songs, and tunes and eventually music that develops out of that togetherness..
there's a sort of euphoria keda that comes through when a group of people get together to do something..
not only if all are doing it with excitment.. even if some are doing it wtih exctimetn and others with a groan..
i'm sure there's one aspect of ramadan we all used to look forward to , even if we don't enjoy it all together..
i was one of those people who love it inside out.
it meant so much.. it signalled so much..
it came in so quickly adn hugged so tightly,i just had to giggle and enjoy it.. else i'd have been suffocated, no?
so it's ramadan adn i'm fasting,and drastically trying to think of what we're going to do about eid..
eid has gradually meatn less and less as we've grown older, bas it still 'meant'.
it at least 'meant' family, and vacation, and indigestion at so much food so early in the day..
i don't want eid to go away too.
or maybe that's exaggerating.
i just don't want it, not to be there.
we had our first 3ozuma today..
our very first :)
and i cooked too :)
and suddenly there's a new social circile we're developing, or maybe, one i'm newly fitting in..
a few people i've known forever andmean the world to me, some i used to make eye contact and smile at when in uni.. somei'd heard about and never seen, some i'd had casual relationships with.. some i'd met at some early point in my life, and never seen again adn suddenly run into here..
suddenly they've all come together, and it feels we are being recycled into friends :)
is that putting it in a bad way?
it's actually realy nice.
you re-discover people you thought you think you knew, or you have such an old pic of in ur mind,and u bring it out and dust it and actively converse with it..you add more color and meaning and you find yourself more and more in all the different shades..
so we start over again..
and i look at my pics of el fara7..
and i think of all the memories we have with each adn every single person..
all the funny things we've done.. all the serious things we've decided to do, all the things we succeeded at, all we failed at, all we've seen dand done together..
and it's all very deeply engraved within me..
when will i see everyone again?
will it be as easy to pick up on an old story and laugh.. or pick up on anything and laugh again?
will we be able to build things together again?
there will always be so much in common i know..
either because we've grown so much of ourselves together, or simply because we're all growing towards similar ends, hopes dreams...