Monday, October 24, 2005

Ramazan Ramadan

ET, A View from Iran:
We’re about halfway through the mandated public fast. You can’t eat or drink in public unless you are a traveler or are sick. And then you better be in a hotel or a hospital. So imagine my joy when I was offered tea at a recent meeting. What a pleasure it was!

I think that many more women than men fast. “They think it will help them lose weight,” a friend explains. I’m not so sure. There is a kind of community that the fasting creates. It really is a pleasure to wander the streets at sunset. Someone is always out offering sweets, fruit juice, or porridge. Everyone watches the same serial: the story of a woman possessed by the devil. I have only caught bits and pieces because I do not have an antenna. Got one today, but now I only have 2 channels.

Islam should be left to the individual,” a taxi driver ranted yesterday. “All of this fake fasting and public sanctions are ridiculous. They have taken away our personal relationship with the religion and made it the law. It’s too much.” And on and on and on he went…

“Wow. He talked a lot,” I told K.

One thing’s for sure: he wasn’t an intelligence officer.”

“He didn’t give us any time to talk,” I laughed.