As the Muslim world welcomes Ramadan 2011, set to start early next week, we wait with baited breath to see if the world will witness a time of peace and thanksgiving in the Middle East or an escalation in the unrest, and even violence, that has been characteristic of the last 6 months.
Traditionally, this Holy Month is marked by charity and blessings (maybe even excess) among family and friends. It is the time of the year when Muslim cities are aglow. Markets are awash with shoppers, families and friends fill cafes, decorative light sparkles over balconies, trees, and shops selling spices, jewelry or colorful scarves.
But Ramadan 2011 must absorb the spirit of recent revolution and ongoing unrest into what is otherwise a subdued time of peace. Given that the community congregates more, as is customary with Ramadan, there might be more potential for trouble festering and civil movements spreading.
Still, the routine of Ramadan will likely prevail, hailing in overtones of family warmth and care, marked by devotion, spiritual cleansing and purity.
Al Bawaba bids you Ramadan Karim.