Ramadan drivers told to brake....fast! Rush hour Iftar traffic and the city

Published July 14th, 2013 - 18:25 GMT

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EGYPT, Cairo
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Image 1 of 10: A date with a soldier? Egypt's army needs all the fuel they can get to keep the country stable right now, and the military guard cannot let down their guard even at Iftar time. AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

amman Jordan breaking fast taxi
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Image 1 of 10: While Amman's yellow cabbies shuttle the punters, the police see fit to serve them their first bite of the fasting day. (Image courtesy of Ammon news)

amman jordan traffic jam
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Image 1 of 10: Amman's early Iftar traffic snakes through the streets of Philadelphia (Amman's ancestral name).

palestine qalandia
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Image 1 of 10: Palestinians at the famously congested crossing of Qalandia caught out at the Iftar hour get rescued by community workers giving charity Iftar basics-- water and dates. (Image courtesy of Jawwal's Facebook page)

beirut lebanon
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Image 1 of 10: Ramadan hardly makes a dent to already traffic-jammed Beirut. Nevertheless, the Beirutis should drive prepared with a Ramadan kit in case they get stuck in the Iftar rush, Lebanese-style.

Qatar Doha
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Image 1 of 10: Qatar's got it all under control: For the Qataris Ramadan is no exception. The Ministry of Interior is distributing more than 20,000 Iftar packs that contain water and dates for motorists at Iftar time to prevent the perils of speeding.

abu dhabi, spreading awareness of safety on the roads
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Image 1 of 10: Abu Dhabi does its bit for road safety at Ramadan rush-hour. |The authorities are giving out Iftar meals and stop-gap snacks to lock away that hunger til home-time.

Jeddah Saudi
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Image 1 of 10: If cars could fly... Saudi Arabia feels the Ramadan heat at Iftar-time (Arab news /facebook/ Fouzia khan)

Yemen Ramadan
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Image 1 of 10: Yemen's soldier puts on his Ramadan Karim to serve the Iftar stock goodies to road users. We hope he doesn't forget to eat himself in all the rush! (Image: Hemmat Shabab, Facebook)

Egyptians Ramadan
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Image 1 of 10: Cairo craves a date with Iftar: Egypt is heaving for Ramadan and you'll be hard pressed to find a Cairene who has not found himself stranded in chocker-block city traffic this holy month. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Traffic is a heavy, heaving feature of the holy month in the Muslim world. The Iftar rush-hour is notorious for bringing big cities to their knees, and even leaving hungry fasters stranded without food.

The Iftar rush starts in some of the region's populous capitals well ahead of the dusk hour. In Cairo for example, crossing the city can take 3-4 hours and the ravenous rush extends hours ahead of the moment of truth and satiation.

Fortunately, city groups and individuals thinking outside the box are a few steps ahead! Armed with boxes of dates and bottles of H20 to feed and quench the motoring masses, community groups are out in force weaving among the traffic to extend nourishing support to the starving stragglers. Their offerings are a welcome site for hungry bellies belonging to fasting drivers and cabbies stranded after Iftar' o' clock.

The idiosynchratic campaigns vary from one regional metropolis to the next, but the message is resounding: slow down and avoid driving like a madman by stopping the hunger gap with the Iftar quick- fix-hunger-pack! A date and water locks the hunger till home destination.

This year, we bring you some of the salient traffic images of a region brought to a standstill on its mission to break fast, but not so fast!

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