The city of Aden, in the south of Yemen, is characterized during the month of Ramadan by the calm of its day and the hustle and bustle of its night, and it has been a habit that the city has been in for years, as the city finds throughout the first hours of the day more like a ghost town while it thrives at night, and its people do not care about their crowding these days to take any precautionary measures against the Corona virus .
The exit of people from the city’s mosques at the end of the dawn prayer is considered a sign that the city will enter the hibernation phase, as all shops and public places are closed and its streets are devoid of any life movement, except for what you can see of donkeys or dogs and stray cats hunting for their livelihood from the remnants of Ramadan tables. Read also Ramadan is a time in Malaysia … a long-standing tradition continues with remembrance rings, Ramadan bazaars, and a visit to the suhoor Ramadan is the time for “money lol” in Qatar … mischiefs, family solidarity, and sessions are customs that have ceased to exist and others resist.Ramadan is a time in Lebanon .. Memories of familiarity and simplicity when families were one heart Ramadan Zaman in Morocco .. Popular songs for children and rituals celebrating the young fasting
He boasted despite the severity of the circumstances
Those tables that the city’s residents boast about preparing despite the difficult economic conditions that they have been through for years due to the camping of the specter of war on the country and its repercussions on the lives of people and created the worst humanitarian catastrophe, according to the reports of the United Nations organizations that warn of an unusual state of famine in the world. 40 years ago.
Indifference from Corona
The situation during the days of Ramadan is not limited to the cessation of activity in the markets and the closure of shops during the first hours of the day, but the situation casts a shadow over the rest of the city’s other matters. As their conditions are “paralyzed”, many people’s interests are disrupted by stopping work in many offices and companies during the day and replacing it with work in the evening.
This is what the Corona pandemic imposed on ministries and government departments by reducing the number of their permanent employees. In addition to the laziness and lack of commitment to the work hours that accompany the employees during the holy month.
The silence and laziness of the city is accompanied by the afternoon, when the movement of Ramadan begins with the bedding of the Ramadan food vendors, sidewalks, streets and roads that block the movement of cars, in a human challenge that does not fear the dangers of mixing and crowding in light of the Corona pandemic, with the situation of a dear to the health system in the country.
People do not follow any precautionary measures and say, “It is all from God, and no written distance will prevent us from leaving.” Just as many of them deny the existence of the disease in the first place. And their suffering is exacerbated by the deterioration of services, frequent power and water cuts, and the almost complete collapse of the infrastructure.
Civil activist Walaa Al-Maari says, “This year is lighter than the previous year in terms of not curfew.” She adds that people are not afraid of this crowding out, even though they are supposed to take the necessary precautions with the spread of the second Corona wave in the country.
Solidarity and the exchange of Ramadan dishes
During the afternoon hours, vendors of Ramadan food and drinks compete to offer their goods, and you find them calling out loudest to bring in customers. From the first day of Ramadan, you find each vendor or group united to choose a site to set up a mobile kiosk or a table with a shoula (cooker), supplies and cooking utensils for preparing Ramadan snacks such as soup with meat or samosas, Al-Sabah (falafel / falafel), otter, and others.
Adenian families are keen to diversify their Ramadan tables and include special food and drinks for Ramadan, as Abdul Hakim Muhammad affirms, and adds that among the customs of Aden residents during Ramadan is the exchange of Ramadan food dishes, social solidarity, and the distribution of food to the poor.
Active movement in the city night
As for the night of the city, which extends from the evening prayer to the dawn of dawn; It is characterized by freshness, movement and crowding of people in the city markets and main streets, which usually turn into exhibitions selling clothes, fabrics, shoes, utensils and others.
The competent authorities are working to block the entrances and exits of the streets with concrete squares, to allow shoppers to move freely and to prevent the passage of cars throughout the month from entering those streets. Usually, the buying and selling movement is active and many young men and women find job opportunities during Ramadan.
In the last ten days of Ramadan, life increases in Aden regions, as people rush to the markets to buy Eid clothes for their children and the Eid needs of sweets, cakes, drinks and gifts that families usually give to visiting children from neighbors and relatives.
High prices and lack of oversight
Parents complain about the high prices during the month of Ramadan due to merchants taking advantage of the people’s necessary need to buy and their inability to disavow the desires of their children or the needs of the holiday, and the lack of control to control the escalating rhythm of prices that imposes the limits of their levels by merchants, says journalist Sami Al-Adeni.
Traders invoke higher prices on the basis of the continuous collapse of the local currency against foreign currencies, and that most of the Yemeni needs for food, clothes and other needs are imported from abroad in hard currency.
Hamdi Abdel-Bari Al-Kassar said, “As retailers, we suffer from the requirements of importers and wholesalers who raise prices from time to time, and obligate us to pay in dollars or Saudi riyals, which we have to buy from the black market at exorbitant prices exceeding 900 Yemeni riyals for one dollar.”
A space of hope … in a bitter reality
Despite the complex political and economic conditions that have cast a shadow over people’s lives for 6 years due to the ongoing war in the country, the people insist on living the moments of their lives that they see in each moment as a space of hope to help them in these situations full of pain and suffering.