Ramadan


Ramadan customs and traditions around the world - Gaza


Palestinian women walk in al-Maghazi refugee camp market, central Gaza Strip. Photo - Suhair Karam/IRIN via Flickr under Creative Commons License

Located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea is the Gaza strip. With Egypt bordering its southwest and Israel on its north and east, it is officially recognized as part of the State of Palestine. 

About 99.3 per cent of the population is Muslim in Gaza. People are seen flocking to the mosques for the Taraweeh prayers and paying respects to Allah. Though hardships are a part of people's lives, they do not forget to thank Allah for the blessings they have. The people of Gaza believe that Allah will always support them through thick and thin. Majd Wahaidi, a young business studies student and resident of Gaza, told us that they experience electricity cuts for at least 8 hours every day. Most families depend on generators and sometimes the fuel crisis stops them from using generators as well. But all these difficulties do not stop them from fasting. 

The people of Gaza call the meal in the morning Al Sohoor. Light food is preferred at this oddly hour. Cheese, eggs, foul, hummus, dates and plenty of water are taken. This may differ from one family to another. Many people drink tea as well. Some people eat heavy meals because they have to fast for more than 16 hours.

For Iftar many people eat soup, pickles, and hummus. The traditional food such as Maqlooba (dish made with meat, fried vegetables and rice), Musakhan (consists of roasted chicken on taboon bread topped with pieces of fried sweet onions, spices and pine nuts), Maftool and fatta are also eaten. Some families eat steaks, kebabs, pasta and mollokheya. Katayef is the main famous dessert during Ramadan. It is sweet dumpling filled with cream, nuts cheese, dates or yoghurt.

The holy month always brings the people of Gaza together during prayer times. Families are seen exchanging food and sharing their happiness and sadness. Children are seen reciting the verses from the Holy Quran in the mosques.

Written by Shirin Ashraf - Special to Times of Oman

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