It was already past one in the morning when the man with his drum began. It happened in most of the Muslim world this Monday: every night, a few hours before sunrise, the Ramadan drummer – that’s what they are called – goes street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, lifting people up to wake up now. , that after the sun rises, they will no longer be able to eat any more, and they have to take advantage of the few hours of the moon that still remain.
This Tuesday is the first night of Ramadan this year, at least in Turkey, and other countries. In other latitudes it starts tomorrow Wednesday. The holy month of Islam in 2021 is experienced in the Eurasian country with even greater concern than the previous one : for a week, daily COVID-19 infections have broken records. Yesterday 54,000 positives were reported .
It will be a long month of fasting and restrictions in Turkey. It will not be, however, in other Muslim countries, especially in the small Persian Gulf States , where vaccination, as in Israel , is being among the fastest in the world.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) , for example, more than 80% of the population has already received one dose, while the total of people with two is 22% . Among the doses administered in the UAE are also those that have been injected into various members of the Spanish royal family .
Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain have similar data, and Saudi Arabia , with a much larger population, is somewhat behind. In addition, the Saudis announced a few days ago that only people who are fully vaccinated will be able to make the ‘ umrah’ this year , the pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim with sufficient financial resources must do at least once in his life.
In Yemen , where vaccines do not arrive because the country lives in a state of siege and embargo imposed by the Saudis and Emiratis, the population will have to spend Ramadan, like last year, at the complete mercy of the covid and the weapons of the Saudis , your real concern.
And something similar is happening in Syria , where the exact extent of the pandemic and the actual number of cases are unknown. There are not enough tests, not enough food or gasoline . Of course, no vaccines either.
The most important part of each day of Ramadan is undoubtedly when the sun goes down. At that time, neighbors, family and friends all gather together at ‘ iftar’, when the fast is broken. After dinner , the streets fill with people until the wee hours of the morning. In many countries, such as Turkey, Tunisia and Jordan , however, this tradition of going out to the streets has been banned. In others it is recommended not to.