The morning meal is usually taken at home, because it is so early, but in the evenings, meals are shared at each masjid, as well as in people’s homes with fellow Muslims, neighbors and friends.
It is a time to be thankful and to have empathy for those who go hungry all year long. After dinner, lots of people stay late into the night to participate in special prayers called Taraweeh, which are only offered during Ramadan.
One-thirtieth of the Qur’an is recited each night in these prayers to complete the reading by the end of the month.
Keeping such a schedule can be difficult when one works in a 24-hour tourist industry, but observant Muslims tell me, “Yes, we’re tired, but it’s worth it. The benefits of Ramadan are too great to miss and it’s only once a year.”
After all the benefits and making such sacrifices, though, everyone will be overjoyed to celebrate the Eid.
After a special prayer in the morning, this year anticipated on Aug. 19 or 20, there will be new clothes, presents, especially for the children, trips to the beach, Steel Pier and other area amusement parks and, of course, lots of eating.
Turiya S.A. Raheem was born and raised in Atlantic City. Currently an English teacher at Atlantic Cape Community College, she loves to describe her neighborhood as “the other Atlantic City,” because it was not the casino-resort mecca most people know today. It was a place with a “cozy, down-home feeling” as she describes in her 2010 book, Growing Up in the Other Atlantic City: Wash’s and the Northside.
Jacob Lawrence Day in Atlantic City