The Security Guy: The Saga Continues…

Today is the fourth day of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan.

During the Month of Ramadan, for the uniniated amongst you, Muslims are supposed to Fast (refrain from eating/drinking) from dawn until sunset. Having being raised a Muslim, I have always been told that Ramadan is not only about Fasting from food and drink but vices in general.

For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of spirituality. (Yeah, right… but I’ll get to that later).

Today, I am not Fasting. I’m not doing this to make a statement or prove a point (though I have to admit that since I’m a Quasi-Agnostic – still in transition – the social pressure on me to fast is just too great, and I know I’ll get a bitch of a headache if I go around explaining and arguing).

No, I’m not fasting because I’m ill and I’m taking medication. Religion-wise, I’m safe. SupraNatural being knows my body feels like it’s about to crumble to pieces and the anti-biotics and painkillers I’m gulping down every six hours don’t contribute to my regaining my body strength or even presence of mind.

I let it be known that I am not fasting today at the office. I had to. I needed to eat and drink so as not to collapse from the exhaustion my body feels. I did not have except two cigarettes, a cup of tea and two pieces of toast (though in 30 minutes when all the Egyptians are gone I will go down and buy me some McDonalds). Still, when I was about to leave the office (to have my second smoke in the building stairwell), the Security Guy (of “The Jews” fame) asked me how I was dealing with Ramadan today (his shift had just started – he didn’t know).

Obviously, I told him I wasn’t fasting… because I was ill. He gave me this look and said:

“Ana mesh mesada2 ennak mesh sayem. Mesh Faisal el maysomsh.” [Trans: I cannot believe that you are not Fasting.It would not have been expected of Faisal (me) not to Fast.]

Why’d he have to go and say something like that? What really annoyed me was my response… I actually stood there and attempted to explain to the man why I wasn’t fasting. I gave him excuses! (I felt extremely ashamed of my behaviour afterwards).

The look on his face said that he still wasn’t satisfied with my response. Thing is, this is the attitude that many people give you when you do not fast. Apparently, nothing short of having Cancer, a Stomach Ulcer, Diabetes, Heart Problems AND a bullet lodged inside your brain should be reasons enough for one not to fast. Yes indeed.

One has to persevere. So what if you are ill?! You have to vanquish the illness through piety… and possibly die in the process (I’m not saying I was going to die).

I do not want to waste my breath ranting on about how I think these people should mind their own business and not interfere. After all, it’s their SupraNatural Being who will judge me, not they. So let’s just wait until Judgement Day and I’ll let them know what I scored on the Ramadan part of my Grades.

Apparently the man was accepting enough to point out that if I smoke my ciggy in the bathroom, and with the stall door closed and the fan on, it would me much better for me.

So I smoked in the bathroom, well aware of his attempts to “hide and protect me” from the wrath of other Muslims who might be traversing the building stairwell, and who would absolutely faint at the sight of a non-Faster.


5 thoughts on “The Security Guy: The Saga Continues…

  1. I hate it when people don’t mind their own fucking business when it comes to carrying out certain rituals, especially when these asshats are condescending about it and judge you for it.
    Ento mal ahloko!

  2. This security guy indeed needs to mind his own business. Still, I can understand the pressure you were under. Everybody around you the workplace is fasting, and it seems it is a season for religous “mozayda.” Anyways, I hope you are feeling better now, health-wise.

  3. I can empathise. It always amazed me that for 11 months of the year Egyptian society considers me absolutely unequivocally foreign, makes zero enquiries as to the health or otherwise of my soul and generally considers me a spiritual lost cause…But then once Ramadan arrives and with it the endless enquiries ‘somty ennaharda..?’ ‘mesh sayma?!?’ I object simply because certain supposedly God fearing people reduce potentially very rich spirituality to the performance of religious ritual, and, even worse, give themselves the license to judge my own spirituality by this very crude measure – while ignoring the backbiting, bitching, whoring etc which characterise their lives for the other 11 months of the year. Sigh.

  4. The only place I saw this “minding your own business” when it comes to Ramadan was in Turkey. I was in Istanbul for a week and Ramadan started while I was there and I was really happy with how some ppl fast, while some other ppl are at the cafeteria @ work for breakfast/lunch and the most omportant thing is that no one is giving the “evil eye” to anyone! :))

    When I used to live in Egypt I used to get those evil eyes all the time …although..uhm..I am Christian? 😀

  5. You do not have to give excuses for not fasting. Allah knows your health conditions. However, I am sure that you understand
    the culture of the Egyptian society which makes many people curious and intervene in others business. Nevermind, just try to be patient about that. On the other hand, those who cannot fast can do whatewver they want away from the eyes -and curiousity of other people..otherwise, you may confront a kind of misunderstanding from many simple -or even narrow minded- people
    I enjoy reading to you

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