Gender & Identity, Life

8 major facepalm moments that definitely happen right before Ramadan in Egypt

First night, you fall asleep before Taraweeh because of that plate of Fattah. Third night, you enter a zombie-like state that lasts until mid-Ramadan.

Ramadan is about disconnecting yourself from your bodily needs, cleansing your soul and deepening your connection with God. It’s a beautiful time of the year to recharge your faith, and work on yourself and reach a higher state of being.

We have got all year long to focus on food and entertainment.

But what do we focus on? Mostly, just that: food and entertainment!

1. Scheduling for 30 days of TV marathons

Okay. So, it’s TV series season, ironically enough.

You’ve got around 72 different series on 20 different channels and you would watch them all back to back if it weren’t for the convenient gift of common sense. You call up one of your savvy friends, the kind that prepares brilliant, color-coded excel sheets with time slots for each series, episode reruns and the channels they come on. Awesome!

Now you have your copy and you’re down to business, highlighting the unmissables, the watchables and the maybe’s. You plan your other activities around the timings of the series and you’re all set. Um, ever heard of Youtube?  And post-Ramadan reruns? Nope, everything has to happen this month.

2. Getting a head start in Quran

You’ve got 30 chapters to read, one for each day of Ramadan. You think “Doable!” But, you remember the ton of responsibilities you have and the fact that Aunt Flow’s visit will coincide with the first day of Ramadan. So, you should either run the risk of falling behind or get the head start. You do the latter and you get 7 chapters done before Ramadan! Woohoo! You feel so proud of yourself and slack off for a few days believing that you’re still on top of things.

Come Ramadan 20th, you’re still at chapter 13 desperately scrambling for time, calculating how many pages you would have to read per day to catch up before Eid time. Good luck with that!

3. Leaving home on Ramadan’s eve, despite the crazy streets

I live in a country with a predominantly Muslim population. On the two days directly preceding Ramadan, I go home by sundown to take shelter, never leaving the house no matter what. The last two days of Sha’ban are when the truth of its impending fate hits the nation and people start taking to the streets to buy whatever food items they’d forgotten while running last-minute errands.

[bctt tweet=”The truth of its impending fate hits the nation so people start taking to the streets to buy food.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Those two days are when streets start getting packed at night time and never get back to normal until the first day of Eid. That is when I’m usually safe and sound in my room savoring the thought that I’m not part of that frenzy.

4. Loading up on food, lots and lots of food

This point tags on to number 3. People take to the streets because they won’t be eating for a whole month, except for the few hours from sunset to sunrise. For some reason, that automatically turns us into food hoarders! Food literally becomes the top priority in Ramadan, when it is supposed to be the lowest. You would find markets literally overflowing with goods – stacks of rice packs on the pavements and enormous Ramadan-exclusive supermarket extensions. Because, again, Ramadan is the month of food, and it only makes sense that we load up on food!

[bctt tweet=”For some reason, that automatically turns us into food hoarders!” username=”wearethetempest”]

5. Calling up everyone you never call for the first time that year

If you are the responsible type, and your parents are not around to keep on reminding you every hour and the hour to call Aunty Fawzeyya, you’ll be making this mind list of people you need to call right about one week before Ramadan.  These calls are usually guilt-induced, short and to the point.

“Oh hey, uncle Samy!”

“Remember me? No?”

“Well, Happy Ramadan anyway!”

“You too!” *click*

6. Styling it up for Taraweeh prayers


“Oh what will I wear?”

Well, for starters, that should not be the first question that hits you at the mention of Taraweeh prayers. But hey, we’re just girls and we can’t resist ethnic flowing garments with lots of fabric and embroidery! And come on, you just don’t go to Taraweeh wearing your regular clothes, do you?

[bctt tweet=”You just don’t go to Taraweeh wearing your regular clothes, do you?” username=”wearethetempest”]

So, let’s see. What does a typical Taraweeh fashionista need to be all set in terms of appearance? Yes, a basic pitch black envelope Abaya, a cream-colored Moroccan style and a solid-colored prayer onesie for days when you’re not feeling up for it. Couple those with flashy head scarves, a cute perfumed prayer rug, sparkly prayer beads and you’re good to go!

7. Meticulously planning out your healthy diet for the month

Ramadan is a perfect opportunity to lose those extra pounds around the waist, that bulbous belly and maybe slim down those chunky thighs in the process. “Eating large amounts at once after a long period of fasting is not good for my health and wellbeing, so I’ll just have a small serving, maybe just a salad and soup even.”

[bctt tweet=”Ramadan is a perfect opportunity to lose those extra pounds around the waist.” username=”wearethetempest”]

We’ve all had that talk with ourselves. We’ve all led our poor selves on, promising them of refreshed post-iftar sensations and light meals, only to find us plunging into our full plates, face first the minute the Azaan sounds. Ugh!

8. Having that talk with yourself about your worship goals

You know these otherworldly Ramadan vibes that heal your soul, taking you to a higher spiritual experience. You’ve been there and you want it again. So you decide to rid yourself of the material world and make more time for extra prayers to enjoy the unworldly bounties and divine inner peace that come along with them. You’re honest with yourself and you’re adamant to pull an all-nighter in prayer. The first night, you fall asleep because of the plate of Fattah you dove into earlier that evening. The second day, you manage to pray only one sunnah prayer. The third day, you enter a zombie-like state of distraction that lasts until mid-Ramadan when you realize that you have wasted 15 whole days.

[bctt tweet=”FOCUS and treat every day like it’s the last day of Ramadan.” username=”wearethetempest”]

My advice? Don’t listen to my ridiculous predictions. I’m just being lame. You just FOCUS and treat every day like it’s the last day of Ramadan.