Ramadan Greetings from Women’s Education Partnership
We wish our dedicated team in Khartoum, our beneficiaries and all our kind supporters and followers a joyful Ramadan. 2023 is sadly proving to be as challenging as last year, with severe economic pressures weighing on so many in Sudan as they prepare to observe the Holy Month. Ramadan is a time when the Sudanese share what they have with great kindness and generosity, breaking their daily fast at sunset in the company of neighbours, visitors and passers-by, always remembering those in need.
The Lighting of the Lamps and Lanterns
Above, a beloved Sudanese Ramadan hymn
Often sung as the evening lamps and lanterns are lit in preparation for breaking the daily fast, and loosely translated as Ramadan, you bring forgiveness / liberation from sin / you bring generosity (in alms giving) and emancipation from slavery / Welcome Ramadan, with the taraawiiH (Ramadan prayers, prayed in the mosque after the Ramadan breakfast) / Welcome Ramadan, you bring forgiveness / Welcome Ramadan, month of lamps and lanterns / Welcome Ramadan, you bring forgiveness / you bring all good things and blessings / Welcome Ramadan, bringer of forgiveness.
My thanks to Muna Zaki for all her kind guidance with this.
Listen to this evocative hymn below (opening scene):
After the opening scene of the visually stunning Aljazeera documentary on Ramadan in rural Sudan, watch the documentary in full, accompanied by Arabic transcript with English notes in:
The writer Zvezdana Rashkovich movingly recalls her first Ramadan as a wide-eyed twelve-year old with her Croatian mother and Sudanese stepfather in Khartoum. “This new bewildering yet captivating existence opened up like the petals of a jasmine flower”, she writes in My First Ramadan in the Sudan.
“Dates were eaten first, sometimes with a few sips of water or juice. Then, prayers were performed in the dusty yard over which a straw mat was placed as the family gave thanks together. The head of the family (usually the grandfather or in his absence a father, uncle or oldest son) stood proudly in the front, a place of honor. The men and boys lined themselves behind, then the women and girls. Again, a silence settled on Khartoum’s streets, inside homes, even among rows of labakh trees lining the Nile. I remember how even the birds quieted and a strange sense of peace blanketed all. Muslims gave thanks in silence, bowing gracefully, tapping their fingers on their knees in unison at the end.”
My First Ramadan in the Sudan.
You can read more prose and poetry dedicated to Ramadan by both leading Sudanese and colonial writers in:
Below flakes of hilu murr under the relentless late afternoon sun of Northern Province. Read more about traditional Ramadan dishes in:
This is a cultural post for Women’s Education Partnership.
Learn more about our women’s literacy, orphans schooling and university scholarship projects programmes below:
Opening Doors – Our Women’s Literacy Programme
Our University Scholarships – giving bright young women the chance to go to university
Scenes from Our Orphans’ Schooling Programme and From Hardship to Hope Our Orphans Schooling Programme