Ramadan is not the same here.
Back home, Ramadan was mama’s shorbet adas
& taraweeh at the mosque
& deep conversation over 3 a.m. Arabic coffee in mini ceramic glasses.
Here, Ramadan is a meal for one;
Late night strolls in streets lined with places where people take different kinds of shots;
And my phone playing Al-Imran underneath my pillow.
Back home, Ramadan was Mama’s unintentional naps with prayer beads in her hands,
Mimi’s announcements on the number of minutes left for Maghreb prayer
& Lulu’s voice reciting Qur’an behind Omar’s closed bedroom.
We each packed our own version of home with suitcases destined to be unpacked on separate continents.
Or summers in Jordan,
When Ramadan coincided with our academic vacations.
I would sleep on the top bunk bed next to the window
from where I could get a rotated view of villas dressed in tea lights
& neon crescent moons.
Ramadan meant wafting aromas of Iftar feasts, mansaf,
& guests greater than the number of seats our couches could accommodate.
There was knafeh everywhere.
Ramadan was a warm bite of awwameh drenched in sugar syrup,
& the occasional disappointment I heard in my fajr alarm when I overslept & missed suhoor.
But on Ramadans like this one, I remind myself
That regardless of where we observe this blessed month,
God is everywhere.
And that suffices to alleviate the pain of separation.