free stats Carmen's Web: My first Ramadan
Saturday, September 23, 2006
My first Ramadan
I was REALLY young when my parents allowed me to start fasting. I was five and we had just moved to Germany from Egypt a handful of months before Ramadan. My grandmother was visiting us (her first trip ever out of Egypt) and I was jealous that all the big people were fasting.

I whined for a week about being allowed to fast. They first told me that I didn't have to fast. I think they thought that would shut me up. When I kept insisting they told me I was too young and wouldn't be able to do it. Even back then I was rebel. I HATED being told that I couldn't do something because of my age or because I was a girl. So I continued whining until my mother finally had had enough and told me that I was only to fast till noon. Victory was mine!

So I started fasting. I'd wake up in the morning, kiss my grandmother goodbye, and head to kindergarden. During recess, when all the kids would eat, I'd be sitting by myself working on some arts and craft project. One day, my teacher (who had never had a Muslim student before)
asked me to explain to the class what it is that I was doing and we spent an entire afternoon talking about Ramadan. By the end of the day, all my classmates had given me some candy to break my fast with.

When I'd get home, my grandmother would stop whatever it was she was doing and take me into the kitchen. I'd sit at the table and ramble off about my day (I could talk my ass off) while she made her inimitable scrambled eggs. Till this day I can remember the aroma of that kitchen, the snaps and crackles that would pop into my ears when she cracked that egg into the buttered pan. She died just before I turned 20, a month before Ramadan of that year. Ramadan has never been the same without her.

Anyway, back to Germany.

One day in school I won some sort of prize. I can't remember what it was for and I probably would've forgotten all about it by now had it not been for the prize. For my win my teacher gave me chocolate popsicle. Ice cream! Didn't she know I was fasting??

I kept that popsicle, unopened, in my hand till I got home. When my mother picked me up and saw the ice cream melting all over my hand, she told me that I could eat it. I demanded to know the time and told her that I would not be eating that ice cream until noon. The walk home was messy. When we got home, I ran through the door to show my grandmother how I was able to fight temptation! The eggs tasted even better that afternoon.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:50 AM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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