Eretz Yisrael Time

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Friday, September 05, 2008
If you haven't realized it, it's Ramadan. It's the time of year that Arabs get the least amount of sleep, being forced to wake up early (before sunrise) to eat and pray before the fast, and then stay up all night partying starting from sunset, while letting their sugar levels drop to dangerous levels during the desert-like heat conditions of the day - for an entire month (and they still drive on the roads in these conditions).

They also try to wake everyone else up with their loudspeakers blasting at some ungodly hour in the morning.

It's enough to drive anyone mad, even an entire Islamic society.

Of course the reality is that many don't really fast, but only maintain that fiction in public (I know this from the Arab workers by us who wouldn't eat or drink, except when no other Arab could see them). The younger more religious crowd seems to take the food restrictions more seriously. You'll recall that Marwan Barghouti was filmed secretly eating in his cell, but that was actually during a hunger strike, not Ramadan.

And the funny thing is, Arabs don't drink alcohol. But if you walk around the Old City (like I did last night) you will see gangs (the right word in this case) of young Arabs making their way home to their meals, - completely punch drunk and wild from the lack of sleep and food, the heat, getting riled up in the mosque, and the general atmosphere of the day.

Police are out in force as during Ramadan the number of attacks against Jews and Jewish property in the Old City tends to rise significantly

On the plus side, Ir David is all lit up with colored and flashing lights. It's very pretty.
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