Saturday, July 11, 2009


Okay so I just realized how hard Ramadan is going to be here in Holland. Right now Fajr is at 3:30 am, and Maghrib is at 10:00 pm. I checked the times for last year in Ramadan and they were 2:30 am for Fajr and 9:30 pm for Maghrib...that's 19 hours! Yeah it won't be hot and everything but still...that's a loooong time!

Last year in Cairo during Ramadan it was from 4:00 am till 6:00 pm...but then again it was really hot. I guess it's better to have a longer period that's cold than a shorter one that's hot, since thirst is a lot worse than hunger.

Inshallah it won't be too bad!

Hopefully I'll find a mosque I can go to. In Cairo most women don't go to the mosque to pray so I didn't experience it in Cairo, but I loved praying all prayers at the mosque in Madinah and Makkah, so I'm going to try do that here too.


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Just force yourself to drink as much as you can hold instead of worrying about eating for suhoor. The thirst hits you way before the hunger.

Sarah the Seeker said...

That's pretty much the situation in Scotland. It really puts me off trying it. But I hope I will manage to.

I'm curious though why Fajr gets earlier as you go from July to September? Obviously sunrise gets later, but maybe dawn does get earlier.

Lisa said...

I just awarded you at my public blog! Love you lots!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hi Stacy - that's so true, I'm more worried about the thirst. Thing is when I wake up for sohoor I'm never hungry or thirsty so I'm going to have to force it down.

Thanks for commenting :)

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Sarah - I can imagine it's just as bad in Scotland with the timings.
I'm not sure how the timings for prayer work, I should probably try and find out.

Thanks for commenting :)

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hi Lisa - thanks for the award, it means a lot to me!! Love you.

ellen557 said...

Ooooh wow. That would be... difficult. Here in Australia, it's about the same as Egypt.
I guess it would just mean a whole lot of relaxing because how else could you do it? Hm. You said there aren't many Muslims in your area but maybe there's an online forum for Holland or something where you could find some people? It'd definitely make it easier if you weren't alone in fasting for sososo long.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hey Ellen - I wish I could just relax the whole time while fasting but I think it'll be impossible since inshallah I'll be starting my master's...lots of work!
That's a great idea about finding a Muslim forum - I'll definitely look for one.

Thanks for posting :)

sabrina said...

A good suhoor is in order here:) Good luck! I think we're looking at about 15 hours here in L.A.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hi Sabrina - wow that's long too. I think a good sohour is the only solution to this. I heard eating yoghurt keeps you dehydrated during the day. I'm gonna have to research this since I usually don't have sohour.

Thanks for commenting =)

Lisa said...

I definitely agree that sohour is the answer. I was shocked that you usually don't do it and amazed. Can you lose weight that way habibty, or do you find that you gain because you eat more for iftar?

Sounds like a good nap could be essential as well with these long stretches between Fajr and Maghrib.

This year is going to be so hard, but alhamdullilah. At least it's likely a little cooler where you are :) Love you lots.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Lisa- i was always worried that rating sohour would start up my metabolism and so I'd wake up really hungry in the morning. Not sure that's even true but I guess I'll find out this year.
I usually don't gain or lose weight during Ramadan. I usually have a normal sized Iftar, but I don't eat a lot of sweets and things after, which was common in Egypt.
I am definitely planning on taking a nap every day else will all that time pass??

Candice said...

That's long!! I just looked up the table for us here and it seems like it'll be from 4:30ish until 8 or so. I can't even imagine how I will fast for so many hours days in a row. Can't imagine doing more!

If I had to stay awake until past 10 and go to sleep right after I ate, and wake up in the middle of the night to eat and drink, I would be way too upside down and way too tired! I would need a nap, which is hard since I'd want to maintain my daughter's regular schedule! Gah! Glad it's not too too late here at least, it should be "doable".

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hey Candice - it'll take a few days for your body to adjust to the rhythm. I can imagine how hard that can be with a baby.
Have you tried fasting before?

Candice said...

I fasted one day last Ramadan... While I was pregnant I was so nauseous with Egyptian food I barely ate and it was Ramadan too, which made food harder to get, so I'm sure without wanting to or trying to, I fasted! Although I probably drank at least a bit each day, so it's not the Islamic fasting exactly. And when I was young I would try not to eat for a while, but I always drank. I went 3 full days without eating, but I drank water and even milk or juices during those days. Still, I felt some hunger!

So I think I should be able to do it at least a few days... I will do my best!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Inshallah it'll go great Candice! I'm sure you can do it :):)

Muni said...

Wow! 19 hours! But yeah (stop rubbing it in though) the heat does factor in very much.

Women DO go to prayers in Egypt, especially during Ramadan. I think all appropriately sized mosques offer women an adjoining room or then stand behind the men.
It's just not a very good experience, as you might already guess. I tried it a few times, once in the Hussien mosque in Khan. Plus, the khotba's can be very very very alarming! My friend told me once about a khateeb that was saying women are curses, and talking about Jihad. Should he be talking about the holy month and its stories, and what about encouraging people to adhere to their serene nature during this month (which is NO WHERE TO BE SEEN in pre Iftar traffic)

Don't even get me started on Khotbas, that is a whole other story.

I hope you'll find a very good mosque with a great khateeb that will tell you amazing stories and inspire and encourage you to endure the 19 hours!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hey Muni - you found my blog haha :P

Yeah some women do go to mosques but not the majority, probably because of the tiny unventilated spaces they get in many mosuqes. I really wanted to pray at Muhammad Ali before I left but didn't have time. We should go when I visit!

I totally agree about the khutbas! Seriously, some are scary, and some are sooo insulting to women! I'm going to post about one I heard about soon that really annoyed me.

Thanks for posting!

G said...


Speaking of mosques and women I just wanted to share that I have heard that in Bahrain the women sections of the mosques are actually much much better than they are here in Egypt.

Do you think its the money factor?

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hey G - that's a good question, maybe it is the fact that they have money available so they make both sections good. To be honest, if there's no money here in Egypt, they should make both sections equally bad! Why should the men get a better prayer area?! Grrr it's so annoying.