Ramadan in northwestern Syria in 2017 and 2018

Many of the dishes for Ramadan are similar in most provinces and cities of Syria

locally called in Syria “Maarouk”, the most important type of local bread in Ramadan kitchen tradition. (Photos date 4 June 2017)

Maarouk is usually stuffed with dates, dried grapes, or cheese, and sometimes bananas, and is topped with coconut, sesame and chocolates. It is the main sweet dish after “Iftar” the main meal after long hours of fasting.

Muslims fasting around the world from all kinds of food and drink in Ramadan from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is usually 29 or 30 days, .

Not all Syrian provinces, but other types of local sweets in northern Syria are also popular after Iftar. (Photos date 4 June 2017)

Some people are waiting for Ramadan from year to year to sell Maarouk and foods related to this month.

The markets are always active at its peak about an hour before Iftar while it become completely deserted during Iftar, as all people will be in their homes eating. (Photos date 4 June 2017)

In Syria in particular, it is not at all normal to not find people angry and arguing in the market before Iftar.

Hardly find someone who smiles. Everyone is racing to buy the Iftar food and get home. Everyone is eagerly waiting for Iftar. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone sees the priority is for him, especially in driving the car home, where the family is so patiently waiting for you.

At that time, electricity was not available in northern Syria. It was only possible to get a subscription by the generators that work 2-3 hours in 24 hours so the refrigerators were nit useful and people buy ice to cool the water at Iftar. (Photos date 4 June 2017)

Some types of juices are among the most important things that are served during Iftar. These juices are only available during Ramadan. (Photos date 4 June 2017)

Customs do not differ much in the rest of cities. In the city of Afrin, in northern Syria, people were also selling Maarouk and ice in the next year during Ramadan . (photos dated 21 May 2018)

However there was an amazing man who called himself King. The juices that he was selling had the best flavor in the area

In Ramadan, usually people greet each other with the phrase Ramadan Kareem, (generous in English). Many job opportunities for the poor are available during Ramadan, also “Zakat”, which is giving poor people money or food, is also an obligation in Islam during Ramadan.

In addition, in most of the Syrian provinces, each neighbor gives his/her neighbor a plate of food, which makes the table of Iftar a little similar for poor and rich people. It is very normal for a neighbor to get just a plate of dates or a bottle of juice if he/she is a poor, because everyone gives each other what he has.

During Iftar the whole family gathers, and many families invite grandparents, uncles and aunts to some Iftars.

The Syrian intelligence forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have detained about 130,000 Syrians since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011 according to the Paris-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), which makes a lots of Syrians spend Ramadan without their relatives.