Today marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan. I want to wish all of my good friends around the world who are Muslims — Ramadan Kareem!
When I think of Ramadan, I think of Cairo in August 2011. Hot – very hot. Noisy – very noisy. And a unity of purpose. Everyone around me was fasting and praying.
There was an energy in the air that I associated with high expectations from the recent overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, but maybe some of that energy was also related to Ramadan.
The streets were festive and decorated with lights and ornaments.
Although I was unsuccessful getting into Gaza on that first trip to Egypt, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to be in Cairo at that time. Today, I’m thinking of my friends there —- missing them and worried. So much has changed in three years.
I’m not a Muslim, but when I think of Ramadan, I think of peace and tranquility. I hear the Call to Prayer.
And best of all, I remember the generosity of spirit. The love and kindness that was shown to strangers, whether Muslim or not.