Monday, October 23, 2006

Waiting for the cannons

Last night, Damascenes were anticipating the sound of cannon fire, which signals the end of Ramadan and the start of the three-day feast holiday, Eid al-Fitr. But, the night was silent.

The streets filled with people through the night, anticipating the cannons. There is an Arabic verb for staying up late -- saher -- and that’s what most folks, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, were doing -- shopping, eating, strolling. As I made my way home from a Syrian friend’s house at 12:30 a.m., the streets were as crowded with people and cars as they are at mid-afternoon.

But, the moon did not show itself to those charged with scouring the skies from the mountain tops for the first trace of the new crescent. So the fasters must fast one more day. And so, they say, Ramadan will definitely end tonight. Akeed. For sure.


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