Ramadan karim

Sent On: 
Sun, 2014-06-29
Newsletter Number: 

With wishes for a Ramadan karim for all Muslim friends of Arab-West Report, the staff and interns of Arab-West Report prepared several articles on Ramadan that appear in print in the July issue of the Maadi Messenger for an expatriate public in Cairo.

AWR intern Omar Ali, studying at the University of Toronto, interviewed Prof. Abdallah Schleifer, an American Sufi Muslim with secular non-observant Jewish origins, who has been living in Egypt for some 40 years. He is one of the most prominent media personalities in the East as well as in the West. Schleifer is convinced that there is a relationship between the spirit of Ramadan and the activities of the Center for Arab-West Understanding, the hosting organization for our interns. Schleifer describes the center as “dedicated to interfaith reconciliation and harmony,” two important themes that are likewise viewed as central to Ramadan.

Schleifer himself is no stranger to interfaith reconciliation. He was part of the “Common Word Initiative” in which Muslim and Christian scholars and intellectuals came together to acknowledge that there is “a Common Word” that the two religions share. You can read here about Schleifer’s views on Ramadan and reconciliation.

American research intern Weston Bland describes his experiences in Egypt during Ramadan 2011. As an American Christian, Weston decided to fast the entire month with his Muslim friends. Participation in this tradition served not only as a means of personal religious devotion, but also as a way to find out what Ramadan truly means for those who fast. You can read Weston’s experience here.

Dr. Christiane Paulus, also a long time friend of Arab-West Report and professor at the Department of Islamic Studies in German at Al Azhar University’s Faculty of Languages and Translation, described her view on Ramadan.

As is obvious, the views presented here are all from non-Egyptians who have lived for longer or shorter periods in Egypt and thus present a blend of Western and Egyptian understanding of a month that is of key importance to Muslims all over the world. But in this, Egypt is special. The Maadi Messenger also presents a set of beautiful Ramadan photos by Norm Tucker, another friend of Arab-West Report. These photos show the Ramadan lanterns and other cultural expressions that make Ramadan in Egypt truly different from that in most other countries around the world.

These articles are our gesture to our Muslim friends. We hope this Ramadan will be a blessing to all, Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of other faiths and convictions.


Cornelis Hulsman

Editor-in-Chief Arab-West Report