It is still an hour or so before dawn of the first day of Ramadan. I hear some fireworks outside. Do people celebrate the arrival of the Holy Month of fasting the way Americans celebrate the Fourth of July?
This month I am trying to fast, so I prepared a fairly large suhoor, or morning meal before dawn so that I will be able to withstand a full day of forgoing food or drink. You will see a bowl of beans (plenty of protein to keep the stomach happy); a bowl of cereal--corn flakes with 10 sweetened peanuts covered in sesame and honey, 5 dates and one serving of yoghurt; two fried eggs with one piece of bread; a serving of left over soup from two nights ago; and a banana for dessert.
Once I go to bed (about 330pm or so), then I should be ready for the day, insha' Allah.
An American friend who has lived here about 5 years or more recently told me that if I have no strong reason to fast, then I should NOT. She should know since she has fasted for two consecutive Ramadans, even though she is a devout Catholic. "Unless there's a really good reason, I will never fast like that ever again. One week will give you a taste, but really it's after two weeks that you really start to feel the effects of fasting. Which are not good, actually! lol"
That sounds like an ominous warning.
I now hear the Ithaan (or call to prayer) outside my window, and it's different from the regular call, which usually sounds like a recording.