Friday, August 13, 2010

Ramadan started Wednesday. It goes on for 30 days. The Muslims can't eat or drink when the Sun is up. They can eat and drink before it gets light. They can eat & drink after 7:30 PM. But not in between. This will be especially difficult on them during August, when it so hot here. You get thirsty just standing around, let alone working, etc. They use a lunar calendar and Ramadan keeps moving forward. When Ramadan occurs during the winter months, it's easier to keep. But that won't happen for awhile.

I  went to the Old City today, wanting to catch a bus from the Arab Bus Station.  I forgot that this is the Friday Prayer Service of Ramandan.  Friday is the Muslim Day where they have their main prayers at Noon.  While we have our Main Day of prayer on Sunday. Israel deployed a whole lot more police officers for today. Even mounted Police.  But the crowds were intense.  It was just a mass of people moving toward the Dome of the Rock and their Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The Israelis are even letting in people from Palestine and Bethlehem through the Wall.  But only to men older than 50 and women older than 45.  The younger men and women still need their work permits to get through the wall.  In Bethlehem, they have even put up security walk ways before the Checkpoint where there were usually taxis. One set for the men and another for the women.  So it is not a good idea to go the Old City or Bethlehem on Fridays. Of course the Jews are getting ready for Sabbath, so they are all out buying groceries, etc. for the next two days.  The traffic was even worse than on other days because the Arab buses were all waiting to pick up people from prayer and had roads blocked off.  I took some pictures of the crowds going towards the Mosque and some of the Police.  But tonight it will all be nice and quiet.