The Ramadhan Diaries

Fasting in London and beyond

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

The Blog and Portfolio of Julia Hass

In case my excessive tweeting hadn’t tipped anyone off, I fucking love the Olympics. Love them. I spent the entire afternoon enraptured by fencing. (And looking up lessons, because nothing says “good idea” like me and sharp objects, am I right?) I also love making bitchy, sarcastic commentary on things I probably have no business critiquing, and because I was bored today, I decided what better to do than semi-belatedly (and only on the internet can “24 hours after” be considered “belated”) critique the fashion from the Parade of Nations? That’s right. Nothing could be better. After all, coming together as a world to mock countries that aren’t ours is what the Olympics are really about.

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Another article about Muslim athletes fasting or not during the Olympics.

Another article about Muslims athletes fasting or nor during the Olympics

Here is another article, this time from TIME !!

It’s about female Muslim athletes at the Games and also another look at the Olympics and Ramadhan falling at the same time. I would never have imagined that this subject matter would capture so many imaginations and so much content space.


Athletes in Westfield Stratford


Not sure who his is but I will look up! He is HUGE and looks every inch an Olympic athlete.

I am in the Olympic City

Oh wow. How cool. A fifteen minute train ride from home-and not even having to get into the Underground – bonus- and I am in the Olympic zone.
I just needed to get to Stratford to the Apple store. My MacBook is ill.
The train was not busy and I got a seat. The only unusual sight was that of a Romanian wedding party on the train complete with bride. They got off at Stratford and disappears into the underground on the central line.
Arriving at Westfield was surreal. Smiling policemen at Stratford station is very rare believe me.

Crowds were manageable. I saw members of the Cote D’Ivor team in their matching track suits.
I saw Barbados and Eritrea. People with all kinds of sweatshirts and T shirts from everywhere. It feels like the world has come to my back garden! So weird.
Tourists in London are not unusual at all. But I keep grinning to myself and am still a wee bit confused when I see tourists and international
athletes arriving here in Stratford. No one would ever have a reason to come to Stratford before but now that has all changed!

Ramadhan ER on the Libyan border in Latitude News

Portrait of Libyan doctor during the revolution.


This is a portrait of Dr Emad Abosrewel – the senior doctor and clinical lead who cared for the wounded being evacuated out of Libya last Ramadhan. He arrived after he heard that the border hospital of Tataouine was dangerously under-staffed and that a mass influx of evacuated war wounded were arriving. The work he did was highly commendable but sadly that has yet to be recognised by those in charge today. I witnessed a dedicated, quiet doctor working with very few resources, fighting for better facilities for his patient – whichever side of the battle they were on. He, together with Nader Elhamessi of World for Libya co-ordinated evacuations and arranged ambulances, drivers and volunteers. It was all done during Ramadhan 2011 with a mass surge on Aug 20, when the revolution fighters broke through into Tripoli.


Ramadhan 2011 – Libyan medics caring for the wounded in Tataouine on Latitude News

Ramadhan 2011 – The Libyan Wounded in Tataouine

I wrote this last year when I was on the border between Libya and Tunisia, Tataouine. It was a unique experience. I am finding myself remembering and comparing how different last Ramadhan was out there last year. For one it was almost 50 degrees during the day. It was so hot it was painful. But the main thing was being with some really dedicated, hard working doctors who had turned up to look after the evacuating wounded from Tripoli – with very little support coming from the higher authorities.

I can say that without them, more lives would have been lost.

Saudi Female Athletes At London 2012 Olympics

Saudi Female Athletes At The Olympics

I know this is not new information but I want to mark it and mention it on the blog. I am really pleased to see this – its progress. I am sad however that the judoka will not be permitted to wear a headscarf if she competes. That’s an awful choice to have to make for a woman who covers. It’s going to be important to support the women arriving in London to the Games but I think the IOC thoughts on this ruling could have been wiser if they really did want to open the door for full female participation from conservative Arab States. By this one statement and ruling, there are already probably a number of young women and girls in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere who will be prevented from participating in sport in the future-especially at higher levels, where the argument of how it will interfere with their faith will be used.

It goes against every bit of campaigning that was done to get these women here in the first place. I cannot see how wearing a headscarf is going to be unsafe, as decided by the IOC committee. FIFA said that about football and now with persistence and dedication demonstrated by passionate Muslim female football players, and by example, this notion has been kicked into touch. Pun intended.

Will the same happen for all other sports – where we can get rid of this rather daft notion that covering the hair and being modestly dressed is dangerous? I think the only time I would really think wearing a headscarf would be dangerous would be in  an event like competitive flame throwing or something. But I can hardly ever see that being an Olympic sport. Everything else really should be fine. The only actual harm being done is through this decision is to the athlete in terms of the pressure it will put on her to choose, and subsequently face potential criticism or worse on return home and to other future female athletes from conservative Muslim states.

Hello Jordan!

Er…I don’t mean to say Jordan aka Katie Price has stopped by for a read-although she is most welcome – I mean Jordan the Hashemite Kingdom sitting on the eastern edge of the River Jordan. So we have a new country to arrive on the scene – it’s Jordan! Not sure what happened today but I had a mass of readers from Jordan all in one day today. Ahlan Wa Sahlan. Ramadhan Kareem.

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