Growing up I had the luxury of living five minutes away from both of my grandmothers. Ramadan was special because six days of the week we would have futoor (break of fast) at my paternal grandmother’s house. On Friday’s we would go to my maternal grandmothers for futoor.
Mama Hajya’s, how we called our paternal grandma, house was exciting because we would have tashriba every day. Tashriba is a local stew with soaked bread many households have it daily during Ramadan. Our tashriba is different because it’s made with Iranian bread as opposed to irqaq bread.* Most Kuwaiti households make it with irqaq which is thin, Iranian bread is thick and doughy.
I had amazing tashrib and an array of drinks such sugary Vimto and gamerdeen (apricot perserves), and tart laban (buttermilk) during Ramadan. After we had our meal the adults chatted. I would watch Japanese Anime cartoons dubbed into Arabic with my brother and cousins. Another perk of Ramadan, I could have tea. It wasn’t caffeinated tea, but chai loomi (dried lime tea). I felt like a grown-up.
I was able to do all the things that I wasn’t allowed to do on regular days. Have tea, stay up late, and socialize with my cousins every day. Ramadan was colorful and festive. Every kid’s dream, especially mine.
*Recipe to follow
(Illustrations by Deborah Difiore)