”Ramadan is the best time of the year!” said my teacher Rashad with passion and continued: “It is a time when you get closer to God, when you think about who you are, feel compassion with others and show your most generous side. And it is a time of big commercialism. The streets will be full of people in the middle of the night! You can buy absolutely anything!”

The opinions of the goodness of Ramadan is views of contradictions. Amongst the ex-pat (foreign Western workers) community in Sanaa, not a very big one, Ramadan is a time of complications when the country stands still and nothing happens. Even though it is officially said that people do work between 10-15, it is also said that nothing seems to happen. But, personally, I really look forward to the Ramadan, even though I am not a Muslim. It is no doubt a time of festivity and joy. But not all Muslims are happy regarding all the tough restrictions on normal life, which the rules of Ramadan sets.“These people are savages!” whispered an Iraqi to me yesterday, when he like me, was fighting my way to reach the overwhelmingly packed cheese and lebne counter at the slightly upper-class Hodda Super Market yesterday an hour before iftar, the break of the fast, “These people are almost talibans in their religious strictness. I got smacked in the face this morning when I tried to smoke. I miss Iraq under Saddam Hussein so much. You could do anything under him as long as you didn´t interfere with his life. This country would need a strong man like Saddam Hussein! He would sort out these religious bastards.”

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