MARRIOTT BUZZ NO. 8 - 2016 - page 8

Therearemany tales surrounding theoriginsof the
“faceofRamadan” but theyarealmost connected
to the sameconcept. Thecommon factor between
the stories is that Egypt gavebirth to the tradition
and the inseparable link toRamadan. Some scholars
evencredit it toancient EgyptwhenPharaohsused
lanterns tocelebrate the riseof the star Sirius. In
969, Egyptianswelcomed thearrival ofCaliphMoezz
El-dinAllah toCairoduring theholymonthby lighting
up lanterns. Another talegoes that theFatimidCaliph
Al-Hakimbi AmrAllah, ordered that the streetsof
Cairo -specificallymosques-be illuminatedduring
Ramadan.Other stories about theCaliphAl Hakim
goingout during thenight to spot thecrescentwith
children lightinguphis roadand singing songs. Also, it
is said that heonlyallowedwomen to leave thehouse
withaboy leading theirwayandholdinga lantern.
Duringold times, theonlywayMuslims knew to
break their fastwas through thecalls toprayer. As
citiesgrew, that becamea littleharder as itwasn’t
properlyunifiedand someneighborhoods couldn’t
hear thecall toprayer. Cairowas thefirst city touse
thecannon tonotifyMuslims tobreak their fast.
Some state that it all startedaccidentally,when
soldierswerecleaningacannonduring sunset anda
shotwasfired. Thepeople thought thatwasKhedive
Ismail’swayof alerting them. Fatima, thedaughter of
Khedive Ismail, could tell that thepeoplewerehappy
andproposed that thefiringof thecannonbedone
everydayat sunset. That iswhy sometimes it’s called
It isworthmentioning thatKhedive Ismailwas theone
whobuiltGeziraPalace, now theCairoMarriottHotel.
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