This Ramadan to-do list is not about being a better person, applying self-improvement and spiritual cleansing (one hopes you do take that opportunity too!) but here's what to do if you're feeling a little left out by Ramadan.
Excluded by Ramadan? Maybe you're not Muslim, or 'not Muslim enough' if you are Muslim and opting to forego the fasting aspect of your religion for whatever personal reasons.
Here's the low-down for what's on offer in Amman, Jordan, for the non-fasting population. A survey - brief by nature- of the cafes and restaurants, and in some cases pubs and bars available this season. These reports are gathered from 'word on the non-fasting street' and, while mostly verified, some cannot be absolutely confirmed. Comments, or alternative reports on what is indeed open, and where, would be welcomed.
Cafes that are open in the day-light fasting hours during Ramadan, 20011.
1. Casper & Gambinis: Open for Coffee, breakfast/lunch & dinner Location: Abdoun next to Taj Mall Tel: 06 – 592 2600 Open 9am – 11pm everyday
2. Turtle Green: Open for Coffee/tea or light lunch/dinner Location: Rainbow Street, past the Arab Bank Tel: 079 554 0601 Open 8am – 12am / Friday: 10am – 12am
3. Crumz: Open for coffee, breakfast/ lunch & dinner Location: Abdoun next to Taj Mall Tel: 06 – 592 0102 Open 9am – 2am
4. Books @ Café – Open for Coffee, breakfast/ lunch & Dinner Location: Omar Bin Al Khatab St., off Rainbow street. Tel: 06 – 465 0457 Open 9am – 2am
5. Yoshi – Open for Lunch or Dinner (Japanese food) Location: 4th circle area Tel: 06 4640903 Open 1pm – 12am Hungry Hour (30pct off your bill): 4pm – 7pm daily
6. Murphy's Pub– Open for lunch & dinner Location: Um Uthaina Tel: 077 716 5008 Open 1pm – 2am
7. Wild Jordan - Open for lunch & dinner Location: 1st circle - Jabal Amman Tel: 06 4633542 Open: 12pm - 11:30pm
8. All hotel restaurants/cafes
For other countries in our region, the situation can be summarized in the following: Lebanon more or less stays open in the day, so cafes and eateries are stable and operating usual hours; and by night the bars remain active, though some nightclubs may shut down for the month- but this is usually the private perrogative of the owner.
Kuwait goes into lock-down in terms of eateries and is a 'dry' country regarding alcohol anyway; as is Saudi Arabia- and closed by day- so no news there.
In the UAE, local coffee places or small eateries are open but customers cannot sit in the open air. Cafe-goers are often designated a small section of the regualar establishment in which they can drink coffee or take snacks or light meals. Restaurants are closed, but operate a delivery service after noon.
Dubai remains open for its vastly non-fasting population of a foreign or expat. work-force. Cafes and other eateries will however tend to open later in the day rather than regular morning hours.
Egypt cafes and restaurants are generally open only if they are geared toward tourists, and a few other western-styled establishments are also open with opening hours much more restricted. In Egypt, foreigners are served alcohol during Ramdan upon passport checks, but Egyptians- whatever relgion- are refused alcohol.
In Jordan, hotels licensed to do so continue to serve alcohol, and a few pubs and bars also stay active if they are licensed to do so, in the interests of tourists once again.
Syria might go to sleep during Ramadan at least for the most-part, but there are certainly cafes and restaurants running, and more than likely they can be found in Christian neighbourhoods such as Bab Tuma.
Enjoy what's left of Ramadan, folk, but do remain sensitive to the dominant culture of fasting that you may be living or staying in. Do not flaunt about your nescafe, and be mindful of smelly foods or beverages, like coffee.