From The New Yorker's Photo Booth blog, Faisal Sabbagh on the fasts and feasts of Ramadan:
Three weeks ago, a sighting of the crescent moon marked the beginning of the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar: Ramadan, a time when observant Muslims worldwide abstain from food, drink, and sex, every day from dawn to dusk. It’s also a time of great feasts, from each evening’s iftar, or fast-breaking meal, to the three days of celebration that conclude the month, a festival known as Eid al-Fitr, which is characterized by visits to friends and neighbors, toys and carnivals for children, and family meals in restaurants and cafés.
Despite the fact that I grew up in Damascus, the Syrian capital, having a Taiwanese mother meant that Near Eastern cuisine remained an indulgence for me. For one month every year, however, this was not the case. With its ongoing family invitations and gatherings, Ramadan promised traditional local recipes in full variety. Iftar at Grandma’s and dessert at Aunt Hiyam’s made every hour of fasting feel worthwhile. These photographs showcase the spectrum of Ramadan traditions in Muslim communities around the world.
Click-through for a slideshow of images: http://nyr.kr/MPDEJI