Iftar إفطار means “breakfast” in Arabic (pronounced “IF-tar”).

During Ramadan, when the sun sets, it is traditional to break the fast with dates and water. (From sunup to sundown, one abstains from food, water, sex, and tobacco.) Then comes iftar–the evening “breakfast”–often served to large crowds as part of the daily charity requirement of Ramadan.

Here is a traditional Arab meal: pita bread “hobez” خبز , felafel فلافل , hommous حمّص‎ (with olive oil–zait zaytoon زيت زيتون and sumac السماق , a red powder–sprinkled on top), and black tea with fresh mint (shai na-na شاي بالنعناع ), the mint having been pilfered from my nicely spreading Jordanian mint plant (thank you, nameless mosque ladies) the last time I went across the street to my old landlord’s building to mow the lawn.

There will be desert حلويات heluwayat, oh yeah.


19 Responses to “Iftar”

  1. Noetica Says:

    There will be desert, or dessert? At least in my far-flung corner of the cosmos we understand these differently. Camels would sink to their humps in mousse de maracuyá; and the Ramadan-parched palate – lost in, um, a passion fruit reverie – would be profoundly disappointed by sand.

  2. Nijma Says:

    Freudian slip.

  3. Noetica Says:

    I do like a Freudian lisp …

  4. Nijma Says:

    Better cow slips than couch lisps

    The cowslips tall her pensioner’s be
    In their gold coats, spots you see
    Those be rubies, fairy favors
    In those freckles live their savors.

    (COMMENT UPDATE:) Oops, forgot the credits: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 2, Scene 1

  5. Noetica Says:

    Shakespeare had basically the same idea:

    Where the bee sucks, there suck I;In a cowslip’s bell I lie;There I couch when owls do cry.

    (But then, what could he do for an encore?)

  6. Noetica Says:

    What happened to my linebreaks? I demand a refund! Try this:

    Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
    In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
    There I couch when owls do cry.

  7. Noetica Says:

    (Wretched fickle software, reworking HTML according its own taste – and no preview! “Il computer è mobile. ♪♫”)

  8. Nijma Says:

    what shall I fix?

  9. Nijma Says:

    It’s not fickle, it just has limited HTML. What do you expect for free blogging?

  10. Noetica Says:

    Nothing. Everything’s fine. ☺ I just think they could keep basic HTML that the user inserts. Really! The software itself inserts linebreaks; if the user does it exactly the same way, why not preserve it?

    (Grrr. It’s just me versus the modern world. Pay no attention.)

  11. Nijma Says:

    From WordPress support page:

    WordPress.com allows the following HTML code in your posts, pages, and widgets:

    address, a, abbr, acronym, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, cite, class, code, col, del, dd, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, img, ins, kbd, li, ol, p, pre, q, s, span, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, tr, tt, ul, var

    But what unfortunate typesetting outrage is this?

  12. Noetica Says:

    Well, I used that br in mine, in angle brackets as always. It completely ignored them!

    Here is another one:Did it work?

  13. Noetica Says:

    No, it did not. Try p:

    Here is a p:Did it work?

  14. Noetica Says:


  15. Noetica Says:

    Ha ha! Those bees get around.

  16. Noetica Says:

    I do like the idea of a cowflip, too. Exercises the imagination.

  17. Noetica Says:

    Oops. When I wrote “Shakespeare had basically the same idea” I should have written “Shakespeare had basically the same idea more than once”. My quote was from The Tempest, of course.

  18. Nijma Says:

    Cowflip? We used to have “cowchips”, but that’s not something our bee would seek out. Although I hear the flower in question was wont to bloom on the edge of a cowpie.

    It seems the bard’s bees really knew their freckles though. The scent of the cowslip’s freckle gets credit for everything.

  19. Nijma Says:

    I’ll have to look at the rest of it later, too sleepy.

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