Eid al-Fitr for Muslims and Christians

Sent On: 
Mon, 2019-06-03
Newsletter Number: 

Today is the last day of fasting for Ramadan. The Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan is three days. All offices, including ours, are closed. Egypt’s Christians love the Eid al-Fitr as well because it is a moment that families can spend time together. Most Egyptian holiday resorts are fully booked during this feast.


Ramadan 2019 was festive. Shopping areas were open until after midnight. But work also slowed down. People would come later to work and leave earlier. Many Muslim friends took the fasting serious, but others were cheating, staying up until late at night and carrying out little to no work during the day. Some others also drank and ate as long as they were not in the company of other Muslims. Some old friends did not fast, but this is permitted in Islam if one is physically not capable to fast.


For those Muslims who truly fasted Ramadan was of course exhausting, surely because of the heat of the day and it was thus better to be in airconditioned places.


I have asked two Muslims in our office to describe their own experience during the past Ramadan.


Dina Bouchkouch

Ramadan is common to every Muslim in the world but I believe each of us experience it differently. For example, I am a French Muslim so Ramadan in Egypt is very different than in France in so many ways.

Having the opportunity to spend a second Ramadan in Egypt is wonderful mainly because of the general atmosphere, I can feel that everyone is happy to gather around the same rituals, food, prayers, charity. What is new for me is that in France the schedule doesn’t change for French Muslims, they just manage to fast on the same daily work hours while here they change. I believe that Ramadan spirit is stronger in Egypt than in France as in Egypt the whole country organised itself according to the Holy Month to give the opportunity to the majority to get the best of this month.

Being intern abroad made that I wasn’t around my family to spend this month, but my Egyptian friends did their best so I wouldn’t stay by my own as caring and sharing are mains experiences of this month. We would gather for the different meals, for Friday’s prayer, but also around charity activities which was something new for me, as it is specific for Ramadan. We collected money, then pack bags of food for a neighborhood in need in Cairo, I was surprised to see how many young people came to help for it. This kind of activity reminds that some have less and that it is the duty to the ones who have more to fill the social gap.

I would define my Ramadan in Egypt a: Eat, Pray and Love.


Sara Abdelhamid

Ramadan is a special time for me because it's mainly a time to reconnect with God, reconnecting with someone greater than us, and to recharge the soul.

Another interesting thing that I experienced during Ramadan is: breaking the habit. That feeling of attachment or obsession to things that you think you cannot easily let go of it. Fasting during Ramadan forced me to let go of these habits or anything that I'm obsessed with, because I'm just only "used to it/ used to do it" since it was a part of my everyday life.  Fasting helps me to develop kind of awareness to remember what is most important to me.

So for me I believe the month of Ramadan is always an opportunity to change or create a new self-image of myself, and that is great challenge.





I would like to use this occasion to wish Dina, Sara and all Muslim readers a blessed Eid,


Cairo, June 3, 2019


Cornelis Hulsman,

Editor-in-Chief Arab-West Report