Monday, September 29, 2008

She Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth!

Wow! For those of you who haven't seen today's Jordan Times, this gal said it all. Let me just say that this woman is brave. Regardless of her religious affiliation (and I have no idea what it is), she publicly stated a very unpopular view. Personally, I find her letter well stated and directly on point. As one of the far minority Christians, the issue she raises is one my biggest problems with Ramadan. Not that most places close, but that they are forced to either close or stop selling food. It makes Ramadan an unpleasant time to try and work. We don't have a full kitchen, so our choice is basically to go home for lunch (using lots of gas and lots of time). And, I don't mind at all that my favorite hummus place closes every Ramadan. Or that the closest restaurant to the office takes every Ramadan off. Even if they could serve food during the day, they wouldn't. But, I do mind that the coffee shop (owned and staffed by Christians from what I can tell) nearby can't serve shakes and sandwiches. That's what causes me to have no options. Very challenging. So, I'm going to second this brave person's thoughts. Maybe next year those who make such decisions will "consider the needs of all Jordanian citizens (as well as foreigners and visitors). Remember that a lot of people are not fasting and while being sensitive to those that are, they choose to eat and drink as normal." Maybe next year places can serve food or not as they choose rather than by regulation. Oh and, maybe those who fast will "behave in a holy and dignified manner during Ramadan" as she suggests rather than exhibiting "bad-tempered and erratic behavior." Thanks, Ms. Tash for putting my feelings into words so very eloquently.

Happy dreaming!

7 Comments:

At 4:20 AM , Blogger Ali said...

Im glad Marina was vocal. I understand that Jordan should repsect the Holy Month but why Punish all for that. There are many Jordanian Christians, Foriegnes living in Jordan who don't fast and also there are many Muslims who don't as and that I see having coffee at certain cafes open during the day. I believe as far as these places and cafes serve food and drink inside then that's ok. One Christian co worker told me that he doens't feel comfortable doing his coffee at work and going upstairs to the cafeteria to have it. Now that's wrong

 
At 4:28 AM , Blogger Simple Answer said...

Wow. Some of these problems are so complex I can't quite wrap my mind around it. It requires balance and respect on both sides.

 
At 7:05 AM , Anonymous kinzi said...

I think this would actually benefit true fasters spiritually, too. It's always nice to have someone from the majority understand how we are affected by forced public fasting.

 
At 8:21 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Ali, What a shame that he feels uncomfortable even having his coffee in the breakroom... But I can understand it.

Simple, indeed, it's definitely a country of complicated balance. But, then, that's the beauty of its difference, isn't it?

Kinz, I agree on both counts.

 
At 2:12 PM , Blogger UmmFarouq said...

This is one of the reasons I loved, loved, loved Ramadan in the U.S. It was life as usual: I still worked a 7 hr. work day, my husband went to work as usual, food and drink for non-fasting folks was on every corner, as usual. It really helped those of us who were fasting to reel in our self control. Those fasting Muslim bankers did not get off at 1:30 (a ridiculous hour to close a bank!)but rather 5 p.m. like all the other 9 to 5'ers. And no one was plowing into each other in the Top & Top parking lot (or Publix, or Food World) trying to buy kattayef or any other necessities. We always survived in cities full of eating, drinking, and smoking all around us. If anything, it gave us strength to persevere.

So no, I do not understand the closing down of every single food service place here until 5 p.m. I do not understand the rude and/or erratic behavior. It is not what Muslims are about, and we continue to disappoint on so many levels. We also do amazing things, so I'm not generalizing. I do, however, think that the Christian/non-Muslim populations can be taken into consideration during this month without treading on the apparent "delicate" state of the fasters, which in the case of the majority of men, means "don't mess with them, because they've had no nicotine."

Whew.

Now go out there and have a Happy Eid. And eat.

 
At 12:56 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Umm Farouq, actually the Umms (and co) are the ones that inspire me to know that it CAN be done right. Prior to getting to know you ladies, the only fasting I've actually seen done is the typical rude, erratic, hitting-you-then-"forgiving"-you behavior. You ladies help me keep an understandng of what it SHOULD be. Thanks!

 
At 1:54 AM , Anonymous kinzi said...

Umm Faroouq, I echo MommaBean's statement. The spirit with which you guys approach practicing Islam gives me hope that there actually COULD be peaceful co-existence. Before I met you ladies, I was becoming more and more alarmed by what I was reading even among the fairly moderate blogging community (much less the violent actions of Muslims elsewhere).

I wonder if you could use your comments to MB as a post? So many Muslim bloggers seem to say that they don't 'feel' Ramadan in the US when a majority aren't practicing it. But worshiping God is never about feelings, is it? It's about an obedient heart.

 

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