|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
21 - 27 December 2000
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Surely Ahmed and Azza will invite us this year too? Few evenings pass by without
a sumptuous Iftar that warms the heart as well as the stomach. We invariably
arrive on time, and listen together for the madfa' (cannon shot signalling the
moment at which the fast is broken), while Ahmed and Azza quietly murmur verses
of the Qur'an, generating a wonderfully peaceful aura around the table.
And the same happens with Mahmoud Tawfiq, the well-known poet, and his wife Soheir Youssef Seddiq, and again with Hanan and Gamila... We are part of countless Iftars celebrated in Ramadan. In those rare moments of mystical lucidity, awaiting the madfa', chatting away the evening, my notebook intervenes. If the Iftar happens to be in a popular neighbourhood downtown, I might go out on the balcony to sketch the holy month's myriad intriguing -- and beautiful -- manifestations.
By the evening, if there are still any blank pages in the notebook, I meander off to the neighbourhood of Al-Hussein, wind my way down to that most famous qahwa (traditional coffee shop), Al-Fishawi, and keep drawing. Surely I can stay up late tonight: I will cross over to Wikalat Al-Ghouri to attend the tannoura dance. Here I will listen to an almost miraculously pure nay (reed pipe) accompanied by percussion, and anticipate Suhour, capturing the likeness of a whirling cape of many colours.
By George Bahgory
Letter from the Editor
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