This year, the first day of Ramadhan in Iran (Ramazan in Persian) was declared to commence on Saturday, August 22nd. Unlike in the previous four years, it marks for the very first time Iran observes the beginning of the fasting month simultaneously with majority of other Muslim countries all over the world. This is indeed a very positive development that bode well for the unity and solidarity of the Islamic Ummah.
And for us, it also marks our fifth consecutive year of observing Ramadhan in Tehran. Of course when one compares the Ramadhan atmosphere in Tehran and at home, certainly there are some similarities and differences, although more of the latter. In some part of the city, particularly in the down town areas, one could still sense the feeling associated with the auspicious month.
Having missed the nostalgia of Ramadhan celebration at home for many years now, the best we could do, as we previously did, is to gather the few couples of our countrymen around, with some friends, to break the fast together. Apart from having sungkai or breaking of fast at home, it is also quite a common practice for some Muslim embassies, organisations and even the foreign ministry to extend Iftar invitation during this holy month.
Our fist day of Ramadhan and sungkai this year was spent only among our Bruneian family members in Tehran, followed later by the usual Teraweh prayer.