Morocco is the country of firsts for me, it’s the first Arab country I ever visited, the place where I was first called the N word (what a glorious title to have that is sigh) now it’s also the first Arab country I ever visited during the summer. And let’s not forget the most important first: it’s the place of my first Ramadaan in a majority-Muslim country.
Yup, that’s right, this Ramadaan will be the first time that I see this religious holiday up-close, in a majority Muslim country that is. To be honest, I was more excited about the prospect before I came to Morocco and realized that the weather in Meknes is brutal! There was one week where it was 106 degrees in the shade, this week is not much better. But for better or worse here it comes.
So far, it looks like it will be an interesting experience. For starters, our classroom schedule is going to shift. Instead of classes at 9 am everyday, they will start at 12! Hmmm that basically means that we have to travel to class during the hottest point in the day… and no drinking water, it would be pretty impertinent to do that in front of people who are fasting/should be fasting. And that is to say nothing of the heat in my home. There is only 1 AC unit and it’s not in my room. To be honest I look forward to class everyday, not because of the teachers, but because of the AC and wifi! I am not even going to front. It’s what keeps me going sometimes… ha, ha. The host families have not explained the meals situation, there will be a big one at night after iftar of course, but as far as breakfast goes, who knows…. And that’s the same for lunch on the weekends… but wait, pretty much nothing is open. Apparently, even the American stalwarts, Mcdonalds and Pizza Hut might not be open during lunchtime.
Oh well, here goes nothing… it’s interesting to see the shoe on the other foot. I am used to seeing people try to create the Ramadaan spirit even when are living in very non-Muslim circumstances… going to work, skipping lunch at school etc. so it’s going to take some getting used to all this accommodation for people fasting that are being made. What a difference a majority-Muslim population makes!
Oh and I almost forgot, perhaps the most interesting thing about Ramadaan in Morocco: The clocks are going to be pushed back an hour, so that people can break their fasts earlier! No daylight savings time for Morocco this year!