Moroccans break Ramadan fast on beach with song, dance, food

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People during Iftar, a meal after the sunset, consumed on Rabat beach, in Rabat, Morocco. Laylat al-Qadr, or Night of Destiny, which falls on the 27th day of Ramadan, in Islamic belief is the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. (File photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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People during Iftar, a meal after the sunset, consumed on Rabat beach, in Rabat, Morocco. Laylat al-Qadr, or Night of Destiny, which falls on the 27th day of Ramadan, in Islamic belief is the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. (File photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Moroccan vendors sell local Ramadan delicacies in the old medina of Rabat. (File photo: AFP)
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Moroccan vendors sell local Ramadan delicacies in the old medina of Rabat. (File photo: AFP)
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A Moroccan sits on a chair he placed in the sea on a beach in Agadir as he waits for Iftar, which marks the breaking of a day long fast during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar. (AFP)
Updated 12 June 2018
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Moroccans break Ramadan fast on beach with song, dance, food

  • Families and friends swarm to the beach to enjoy the Atlantic breeze

RABAT: In Morocco’s capital, the beach is a favorite place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Waves lap in a steady rhythm, marking time, as hundreds of Moroccans wait for sunset to break their day-long fast.
Stocked with food and drinks, families and friends swarm to the beach to enjoy the Atlantic breeze and, when the fasting is declared over, share in the iftar meal.
Her face drawn from hours without food or water, Rabat resident Nadia Benani said she came with family and friends because staying at home can become tiring.
“This beach takes me down memory lane to my childhood,” she said.
Some beachgoers dance and sing Moroccan music while awaiting the call for prayer that announces the end of the day’s fast. Exhaustion is barely visible on their faces until they collapse on the ground and check their watches.
Then a cannon booms and a muezzin’s voice rings out.
Hands reach for water and dates, an appetizer for the sumptuous dishes that follow. While some people dig into their meals, barely taking time to look up, others pray first.
Reda Fedoul, 20, and his friends built a table from sand to lay out their meals.
“We came here to change the atmosphere ... the day goes much better,” he said. “We’re here to create happiness.”


Opening the door to Middle Eastern designers at Dubai Design Week

Updated 14 November 2018
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Opening the door to Middle Eastern designers at Dubai Design Week

  • This year, five pavilions from Amman, Beirut, Dubai, the Eastern Provinces of KSA and Kuwait City are showing off
  • The Abwab exhibit is just one thought-provoking, Instagram-worthy part of Dubai Design Week

DUBAI: Named after the Arabic word for “doors,” Abwab is an annual exhibition at Dubai Design Week, a creative fair that runs until Nov. 17.

This year, five pavilions from Amman, Beirut, Dubai, the Eastern Provinces of KSA and Kuwait City are showing off their artistic innovations in Dubai Design District, where the event is based.

Two designers were invited from each place to collaborate and produce works related to the theme “Between the Lines.”

The creations are housed in five pavilions at the heart of Dubai Design District, made up of red twigs and newspaper pulp and designed by the firm Architecture + Other Things.

Visitors crowded around the pavilions at the opening of the fair on Tuesday and explored the five spaces with their unique, sometimes perplexing, offerings.

Amman‘s pavilion at the Abwab exhibit is called “Duwar,” roundabout in Arabic, and is described as a representation of the cycle between chaos and order. The exhibit is a walk-through piece featuring moving images on boards suspended from the low ceiling of the circular space. Visitors are encouraged to walk through the dark circular corridor and take in the constantly flashing imagery above them in the piece that was created by multidisciplinary designer Hashem Joucka and architect Basel Naouri.

Beirut’s contribution to the Abwab exhibit is called “Beirut Fillers” and features a series of suspended words in a constructed sensorial environment, complete with audio recordings of the words “euhhh,” “halla2,” “enno” and “fa,” all of which are linguistic fillers commonly heard in Beiruti conversation.  

For its part, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is showcasing a fascinating piece of work called “The Sound of the East Coast” that pays homage to the tradition of pearl diving in the area with shaking, jelly-like bowls. The installation even features audio recordings of the traditional song “El Yamal,” often chanted to keep the divers motivated.

While Kuwait City’s offering, called “Desert Cast,” uses locally sourced materials and production methods to explore the idea of identity in the country, Dubai’s piece at the exhibit is called “Thulathi: Threefold” and is marked by a protruding triangular section that breaks the natural form of the rounded pavilion. Each corner of the triangle opens slightly through apertures, revealing video projections and silhouette cutouts.

The Abwab exhibit is just one thought-provoking, Instagram-worthy part of Dubai Design Week, an event that boasts workshops, exhibits and a trade fair.