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October 27, 2009
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Ramadhan /

Memories of Ramadhan in Tripoli - Lebanon

Author: EurIng. Hilal Kabbara

Photographs are courtesy of Architect Khaled O. Tadmori

Reproduction is not allowed

Part 1

The Nahhaseen District
Old Tripoli: Alleys of memories.
The Nahhaseen District
The Old Districts: Ramadhan's warmth.
The Sayyagheen District
The Sayyagheen District.

Talking of Ramadhan in Tripoli is enormously touching and inspiring. It is emotionally thrilling and fascinating when one plunges into the numerous cultural and narrative aspects of it. The month of Ramadhan in Tripoli has long had distinguished memories in the hearts and minds of all Tripolitans who observe the month from year to year. Fasting, praying, shopping, breaking-fast, families' long-nights gatherings, friends' meetings in public cafs, innumerable traditional practices and many inherited customs and routines are still being constantly performed and repeatedly exercised.

Verily, when one visits Tripoli during this holy month one would extraordinarily detect the drastic change in people's lives. Indeed, it is as if a tremendous event has happened as the people's insipid life and day-to-day routine would thoroughly revolutionise and completely remodel. It will not be an overstatement if one says that a new life will be reborn that makes people race with time hastily but contentedly. Without a doubt, this is all down to what's known as 'baraket Ramadhan'.

Traditionally, in the last few days of the month of Sha'aban Tripolitans would wander and promenade towards the country-side for outings and picnics. This kind of picnic is very well known as 'Sayran Ramadhan'. People would have many sorts of barbecued meat (lahmeh mishwyyeh), hommos, babaghannouj and salads such as the 'Tabbouleh' and so forth, obviously not to mention the diversity of cold drinks such as 'lamonada', 'aseer toot' 'kharnoob' etc, and on top of all that coffee (kahwee sada) and the old hubble bubble (argeeleh). In addition, such a 'sayran' wouldn't be complete without a 'derbakkeh', which is probably the most highly entertaining musical instrument old Tripolitans would use to top their ecstatic joy. With the help of this 'derbakkeh' they organise the circles of enchantments and entertainment as well as the rings of dancing to help digest the blubbery comestibles. The number of traditional and popular old songs is surely countless and therefore counting them would be rather boring than entertaining.This is a copyrighted material, copying this material will generate a report to:!

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