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Saturday, September 23, 2006
To Fast or Not To Fast
"So, are we fasting tomorrow?" It's past midnight and my brother and I are trying to decide whether to pig out before we go to sleep or if we're going to have another day of breakfast. We've received and made the obligatory phone calls to wish friends and family a happy Ramadan, but we're still not sure if the big day is tomorrow or Sunday. An uncle in Canada phoned in to say that his mosque in Toronto had not seen the moon but has decided to follow the announcement made from Mecca that the first day of Ramadan is tomorrow. A friend from Pakistan is not fasting tomorrow, however her cousin from India is fasting as I write this.

We go through this every year. Egypt sights the moon, Saudi Arabia doesn't. New York doesn't know whether to follow Cairo or Mecca and the population begins to form alliances based on their politics. Three years ago my brother, who lived in Boston, fasted a day earlier than we did in New York. Welcome to the Diasporan Ramadan.

"It's tomorrow," my brother calls out from his room. He's on the internet checking the ISNA and ICNA websites and I'm on the phone with the 96th Street Mosque. The mosque concurs; New York City Ramadan 2006 starts on September 23rd.

Happy Ramadan!
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 1:13 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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