05 July 2013 4:23 pm | | 4

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Central Market in downtown Tunis, July 2013. Image credit: Asma Smadhi, Tunisia Live

Central Market in downtown Tunis, July 2013. Image credit: Asma Smadhi, Tunisia Live

Tunisians across the country are preparing to celebrate the coming of Ramadan, but recent price increases are raising concerns about the expenses ahead during the holy month.

Adult Muslims fast from dawn until sunset during the month of Ramadan, which begins on July 9 or July 10 this year, depending on the position of the moon. Family members gather to break the fast at night, a tradition many Tunisians embrace.

Tunisia Live went to the streets of downtown Tunis to ask Tunisians about their preparations for this month. 

Mhadhbi, a middle-aged housewife, told Tunisia Live that she prepares spices and dishes such as couscous in her home in preparation for Ramadan.

For Aicha, another young Tunisian mother, “nothing changes” during Ramadan, however. Her everyday routine remains the same.

Aicha voiced her concerns about the expensive cost of goods this year, referring to the two dinar price raise of the turkey that she just bought.

“We are only buying the necessities. We cannot be wasting money,” she said.

Rached, a middle-aged man, reiterated Aicha’s concern.

“We do our grocery shopping on a daily basis. No one these days is capable of shopping in bulk.”

According to Rachid, a vendor at the Central Market downtown, “all year-round is Ramadan for wealthy people because they can fulfill all their desires.”

People who cannot afford to buy whatever they want, however, suffer from “shock” during the month of Ramadan, he claimed. As a result, he asserted that they become more eager to purchase goods and spend more money. 

But Rachid also expressed the beauty of Ramadan.

“Ramadan has a special air and flavor that we can smell and taste,” he said.

“Movement in the street becomes slow, as if we are in a different universe, as if people are walking on the moon,” he continued.

When approached about her preparations for Ramadan, the first word that Souad uttered was “money.”

What she likes about Ramadan, however, is that it gathers all the members of her family together.

Kamel, who also works at the Central Market, had a different view from the other interviewees.

“People who are talking about the expensiveness of goods are lying. Go and see in Carrefour [a supermarket], and you will find them buying groceries for 150 dinars,” he asserted.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Big al says:

    Um Praying for all Tunisians that they would get dreams and visions about jesus and come to know the truth of God and his son, and break free from the bondage lies and slavery from a religion that can’t save them

    • Gibran says:

      Naah, it’s your religion that brings people to hell. Islam is the only way to salvation. Keep praying to Satan so that you will have nothing but fire.

      Tunisians are undergoing a battle between faith and secularism just as the Jews and Christians did before hand. In the end, it will all be settled before Allah.

      It was narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed may Allaah be pleased with him that the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they enter the hole of a lizard, you will enter it too.’ We said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?’ He said: ‘Who else?’” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

      Now, any Muslim you mislead will have to bear his burdens. But you will bear the equivalent of his burden on top of your burden in the fire without his burden being diminished in the slightest.

  2. Tunisian Man says:

    If Ramadan is all about fasting until sundown, then food costs should go down…..unless…..people try to make up and over eat enough food for the three they missed during the day. The whole process may be spiritual but it’s extremely unhealthy. I once went to ask a TGM station attendant a question and the poor man lay prostrate on a cot as it was so hot his body was seriously dehydrated and he could barely talk to me. That can have nothing to do with spirituality.

  3. maria says:

    I wonder what 150 buys though that is the problem.

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