|Saturday, 11 August 2012 06:53|
RAMALLAH, West Bank: Alongside hundreds of millions of Muslims observing the sunrise-to-sundown fast of Ramadan, a minority in the community goes underground each year during the holy month, sneaking sandwiches and cigarettes when no one is looking.
They include Muslims ambivalent about their faith or outright atheists, nicotine addicts too hooked to quit for 15 hours straight or those who simply don't want to deal with a day of being hungry.
The Ramadan dodgers indulge in secret — mostly to avoid offending those who are fasting or to avoid embarrassment. Community pressure is powerful. Many say they don't break the rules openly because they fear the disapproval of wives, neighbors and colleagues, or want to set a good example for their children.