Ramadhaan celebrations in Cairo, Egypt, have for a second year been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, with no curfew in place this year, Africa News reports that the atmosphere is more relaxed.
Cairo residents say that the atmosphere of Ramadhaan is this year much better than last year. One resident, Qamar Rustom, said “This year, people are more aware, there is a vaccine and people are taking precautionary measures, thank Allah.”
Africa News reports that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping traditions, and that governments across the region are trying to balance restrictions with traditions. Cairo resident Rehab Sherif, said, “We came to the market to look at the lanterns and buy some like we are used to doing every year. Sherif added, “Last year, we were a little scared but this year, we decided to enjoy and celebrate. Hopefully, things will be fine and nothing bad will happen and the third wave (of the coronavirus pandemic) will pass as the previous waves did.” Many Egyptian families have taken to local markets to do some shopping and stock up on food supplies. Many were at the market to buy dates, a staple in households throughout Ramadhaan. Muslims try to break their fast like the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) did some 1,400 years ago, with a sip of water and some dates at sunset.
Last year, Muslims found themselves cut off from much of what makes the month special as authorities tried to control the pandemic. Many countries had closed mosques and had barred the taraweeh (evening prayers) in congregation, in an attempt to prevent crowds. This year, Ramadhaan rules include a 30-minute cap on the taraweeh prayers and a ban on the Itikaaf (staying in the mosque to worship for the last 10 days of the month).
In the Arab world, Egypt is the most populated country with over 100 million people. It has thus far reported more than 209 000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 12 000 deaths.
Umm Muhammed Umar