Do you know Boutbila ?
This character that brings many memories back and remains rooted in the Tunisian heritage. A character that almost becomes inseparable from the month of Ramadan!
Boutbila, the awakener, with his typical instrument, who brings to the holy month a special sound, a sound that enables us to wake up before dawn.
He gets his drum right before the first light appears, in order to take those who are fasting out of their slumber and tell them it’s time to take a last snack, “Suhur”, before having to refrain themselves from eating and drinking.
A tiring day for some, for others, more basic, one that closes with a gourmet meal worthy of the best oriental restaurants.
“Chorba” and “Brick” are undoubtedly the two entries that never disappear from a Tunisian table during this blessed month.
Often accompanied by a salad “mechouiya” and other appetizers, the Ramadan table is adorned by the most delicious dishes to respond faithfully to the taste buds of millions of Tunisians.
A few minutes before the Adhan (call to prayer), young men and women gather themselves around a deliciously prepared Tunisian table.
This year, Ramadan falls in the month of August, which means that the days are longer. If fasting is seen as a time for sharing, its summer cycle makes it more difficult.
Forget the month of August, forget the swealtering heat, because it is in the freshness of each night, that an ocean of people invades the labyrinth of the medina of Tunis, where worshippers converge onto the “Zitouna” (historic mosque in the old center of the capital).
During Ramadan, after the revolution, most Tunisian mosques noticed a record attendance at the time of Taraweeh (optional prayer performed until the end of Ramadan).
According to the security monitoring systems in place, it appears that Tunisians now practice their religion with a lot more fervor.
It’s not just the mosques that are full in Tunisia, the country is also filled by our Libyan neighbours. As the conflict enters its seventh month, thousands of refugees are forced to spend the holy month away from home.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shared its plan to distribute free meals for Ramadan, but despite the efforts of assistance delivered for displaced families, the food provided could not restore this unique atmosphere of Ramadan that Libya knew before the revolution.
It is therefore a particular month of Ramadan that Tunisians, as well as Libyans, are celebrating this year. A month of Ramadan that we all hope will become an opportunity to look into the future with confidence