You hardly talk about Ramadan in Lebanon’s memory until the adults begin to bemoan the days gone by for the country, in its cities and villages, when families were one heart.
Grandparents remember their fathers and grandfathers and their eyes flashed with stories of a long time, and they called their neighbors one by one, as if they were on a recorded tape preserving the remembrance of those days. Read also 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 Malaysia … a long-standing tradition continues with remembrance rings, Ramadan bazaars, and a visit to the Suhoor Ramadan is a time in the villages of Egypt .. Nostalgia for demonstrations clicking on pots and blasting around the mosque, waiting for the call to prayer Ramadan is a time in the countryside of Syria … the blind sorcerers that the people of the village do not forget
Ramadan or Hassan
Umm Hasan used to pray and swim after the call to prayer, waiting for her to break the fast together while she elaborated her prayer and supplication. Her age.
Umm Hassan, despite her illiteracy, used to complete the Qur’an to memorize her father. Khadija tells her mother-in-law that she did not know exactly what to say, but she was very secure. And she was always surprised by the different types of breakfast, and she says that they used to eat one item, and most of what was changing from normal days was the dates with which they opened their Iftar, and her father brought it from Iraq.
The simple dessert
Khadija, for her part, remembers from Ramadan in her village of Al-Mashar, Al-Masharati, who was knocking on copper vessels, and the neighbors who gathered at the gates of their homes during the pre-dawn meal and prayed for one another.
She says that her mother used to prepare food from the goodness of the hakura or the small garden and some grains. “We were not rich, and we used to eat meat twice a week in Ramadan, and once a week for the rest of the year. The notables of the village used to offer sacrifices to fulfill the vows, so what God had ordained for us of meat and sweets would befall us.”
As for the sweets that her mother was preparing, they consisted of saj bread toast or fried with a little ghee and add water and sugar to it. In the village it is called “burning a finger”. She says that despite the tightness of the situation, she was happy with the days of Ramadan with the large family and meeting with relatives and neighbors throughout the holy month.
The trip on Earth
For her part, Saadia Al-Sharif (75 years old) says, “In our father’s house, we were 13 children. He used to take me to the Nuri Market in Beirut to buy all kinds of milk, cheeses, halawa and pistachios, then to the fish and vegetable market, and the porter would follow us carrying what he gave and a bear, and my father used to come to us.” With fruit boxes to prepare apple, quince and apricot jam.
And Saadia notes that around the kitchen stone shelves await the jars (glassware) filled with Ramadan mortar.
She says that she belongs to a humble family and everyone was waiting for Ramadan, so the father would call the married children and their families, and her aunt and grandmother lived with them, so the house would crowd with people.
And Saadia added, “We used to spread a dining room on the floor from the beginning of the room to the end, and the table was very rich, in shapes and colors, and the price was cheap, and despite this, our ancestors used to say, may God bless you in the days of time, as they used to buy a whole trip with your oven.” Advertising
Before Ramadan, her father used to accompany the neighbors after he rented a bus, each one taking his cooking with him, and they would gather in the bush and eat, play and spend the day.
She says her father used to buy 10 or 15 watermelons after he chose them with his neighbor, and put them under the bed if Ramadan coincided with summer.
During the pre-dawn meal, she would wake up with her mother, being the eldest daughter, to prepare fatteh and chickpeas with tahini, meat, pine nuts, cheese and spiced beans.
My personal favorite for children
Sadia recalls that there was one in Tariq al-Jadida in Beirut, all of my sorrows. He used to stand in front of every house in all the lanes, carrying a drum and a stick, and calling: “Oh sleepy, wahd Allah, Abu Sa`id al-Sharif, wahid Allah, he used to enumerate my young brothers by name. Visit you. “
And he says it in a customary melody. She says they were like children waiting to see him and then running to the balconies. And whoever did not mention his name was grieving, so the Enchants would promise him that he would remember him the next night, “Your eyes will be honored.” He who does not hear it does not wake up at the pre-dawn meal, and blames himself and asks the neighbors if the drummer, i.e., the sorcerer, called him.
The Misharati, for the children, the charming character, would wait for the day of Eid to come and knock on the drum, and offer him the ma’amul and “the one who has the share”, meaning whatever money is available.
Sadia says that Masharati used to be a nice person passing through all the neighborhoods, not like today’s youth who come loudly and on “motorcycles” and broadcast with the microphone and do not call out people’s names, but rather annoy them with the horns.
The Eid sweets were maamoul, cakes and dates, all of which were brought home a few days before Ramadan and left in two glass jars until Eid.
Prayer in congregation
As for prayer, Saadia’s father used to stand and lead them in the group prayer, his wife, children and grandchildren standing behind him after breakfast for evening prayer, and after that came the turn of reading the Qur’an and sealing it twice or three times during the month. Then the entertainment comes later, in chatting with the neighbors.
Some of the neighbors stayed from the evening prayer until the time of the pre-dawn meal in the mosque. And they sleep after dawn prayers, especially those who have no work.
Saadia says, “We did not joke a lot in Ramadan, so the month was respected and appreciated, and after the cooking was finished, the women recited the Qur’an, and every Thursday night, my daughter recited Surat Al-Kahf.”
Cannon and Eidia
Hala Shihab (69 years), for her part, said that people were not able to hear the call to prayer and there were no speakers, so people used to rely on the sound of a cannon that was placed in a sandy yard to break their fast.
As for Eidia, her father used to spend the money in francs and tens of piasters and liras, and put it in front of him .. And Eidia for the old and the young, and for the mother and sister. And some people did not quit this habit until today.
“The Eid was very important because we would have the Eid and go on picnics and” and we would “(that is, they would spend the money as agreed). We used to say to the Pope of Good Morning, and he would take money from his pocket and give the children less than the adults, and mourn, and we hope that we will grow up. Everything was beautiful and cheerful.”
Hala reports that the men used to work overtime to secure the festival so as not to break the minds of his children.
The feast on the threshing floor
Hajar Majed (80 years), from the village of Khirbet Selm in southern Lebanon, says her childhood days were days of poverty, and the tables were not as varied as today. .
Remember that her mother used to bake for the entire month before Ramadan, and fill the water from the eye. They had 3 cows, “Cute, Haba, and Nawara”. The mother milks the cows while sitting on a pallet, murmurs “Oh my love, oh my eyes, Halabeh Al-Ratlini”, drinks a fresh cup of milk before pasteurizing it, then she goes to the chicken coop and eats two raw eggs when breakfast comes.
And the suhoor was produced by cows, labneh and milk with cakes Orcelli, they eat it in a “gintas” copper bowl. And they kept dried and sweet figs for Ramadan nights instead of sweets and chocolate.
Hajar tells that the most beautiful thing she remembers is her grandfather buying her Eid dress from the neighboring village, which made her show off and showcased it to visitors, which made her grandfather angry with her.
During the day, to break the fasting time faster, Hajar and her neighbors used to cry in the threshing floor and sing songs and play as if they were bus riders holding each other, and a person leads them and says that he takes them on a trip to Palestine, “he takes us to cities and villages and we are on the threshing floor.”