© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
World

Ramadan Callers In Gaza Remind People To Wash Up

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

This Ramadan in the Gaza Strip, most mosques are closed because of the pandemic. But the musaharati or Ramadan wakeup caller still has a job to do.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM BANGING)

SALEEM ABU FOUL: (Singing in Arabic).

KELLY: Every day before dawn, Saleem Abu Foul bangs a drum to wake up his neighbors to eat before the fast begins. He says his job feels more essential than ever.

ABU FOUL: (Through interpreter) Ramadan has no shape because of corona. Kids used to run after me in the streets and say, the musaharati is here. Now the streets are empty. The mosques are closed, but I bring the atmosphere. If I wouldn't do my job, you wouldn't feel it's Ramadan.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM BANGING)

ABU FOUL: (Singing in Arabic).

(Through interpreter, singing) Wake up, sleepyhead. Life is too short. Wake up, Abu Abdallah. Say the name of Allah. Wake up, Abu Mustafa. Wake up the children, and tell me they're all right.

(Through interpreter) I wear a costume with flashing lights. I sing the regular chants. And this year, I sing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ABU FOUL: (Singing in Arabic).

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM BANGING)

ABU FOUL: (Through interpreter, singing) Wake up, Abdallah. Wash your hands with soap and water. Where are you, Matar? Corona is the biggest danger. Ramadan is here. Corona, corona, get out of here.

KELLY: That is Saleem Abu Foul in the Gaza Strip. His story comes to us from NPR's Daniel Estrin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.