At last the long month of Ramadan is over and the fasting will/has ended depending on where you live. As most of you know by now, I was Raised in Tripoli, Libya. I borrowed the above photo and text below from the The Libya Observer
Who announced the end of Ramadan tonight :
The Libyan people will celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on Wednesday to mark the end of Ramadan. Eid Al-Fitr will last for three days and will be celebrated first by an Eid prayer at the mosques and then by breaking the fast in the morning after finishing the fasting month of Ramadan.
The celebration of Eid Al-Fitr involves a range of traditions, generally including a gathering of family and friends to eat and pray together, visiting relatives and friends to extend greetings, and in some countries, people go to the cemetery holding a branch of wreath to place it on the tombstone of their beloved ones.
Eid Al-Fitr is a celebration where Muslims thank Allah for the strength, the will, and the endurance He gives them during their fasting times in Ramadan.
I am very familiar with that spot in Libya that is pictured above and I am so glad to see so many Libyans alive and well and celebrating the end of Ramadan during such a troubling time for my second country.
I don’t believe Arabs actually say Eid Mubarak, at least not Libyans, but it’s the cool hip thing to do here so, there you have it.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Muslims in a positive way because they catch a lot of hate from ignorant people who do not understand the world.
So I’m going to share a story from my childhood. Most of the memories from my childhood are when something scary happened. This one is not a scary memory but related to something that might have caused the climate of my household to be heated and out of the ordinary.
I was very young about six or seven years old when our car, a very crappy Fiat that was probably super old was stolen. It was the summer time and Libya is in the middle of the Sahara and very hot. Like over 100 degrees for weeks on end sometimes. Though actually, I never really remember being hot. I was tossed out in the yard like most kids in that era and told to go look at ants or find a way to amuse yourself. Which I did. But that’s a whole nuther story.
Anyway, my mother for some reason explained the adult situation of the stolen car to me. The police were called and the car was found in Al-ʿAzīzīyah. It was Ramadan, the month of fasting for all Muslims who are physically able. The police man came and picked up my father and took him to get the car in Al-ʿAzīzīyah. At the time, Al-ʿAzīzīyah was considered the hottest place on Earth. Literally. Like it was in all the record books and it was an exceptionally hot day even for Libya.
My mother, who was an old southern lady of a certain era not particularly know for being overly inclusive of other cultures and religions made a point to tell me about the police officer who escorted my father to retrieve our POS Fiat. Hell, I was six and I knew it was a POS when the brakes went out on a very busy street and we could not stop. Libyans cross the street anywhere at any time and presume that Allah will protect them and my parents and I all had nuclear meltdowns that we were going to mow down and kill some locals with the stupid crappy Fiat. Thankfully, Allah did protect us all that day.
Anyway the story was that the police officer was a very kind young man and even though everyone was miserably hot, with tempertures on the 115+ range, he purchased a co-cola (probably a Fanta really) for my daddy and brought it to him even though he, himself, could not drink anything.
Even though my family went to church at the First Baptist Church of Tripoli, where I was baptized, I heard the call of prayer of from the mosques many times throughout the day and would be shopping at the souk with my mother while we quietly waited while the shopkeepers all prayed before moving on.
I find myself thinking of the tranquil moments tonight after recapping a show that just struck me as full of evil, and it is a nice place to sit in my mind and heart where I don’t have to use any bad language at all to describe the feeling.
I really wish the entire world could experience the peace that comes from the Islamic community. And the kindness and security I felt. We really need more of that.