Abu Mahjoob & The Cost Of Ramadan

Emad Hajjaj does, what I personally consider, the best social commentaries on Ramadan in the Arab world, especially in Jordan. They portray Jordanian society in all its aspects. From the workplace environment with the angry boss who hasn’t had a cigarette, to setting new working hours according to who’s fasting and who’s not, to the attractive women in the workplace that may make Ramadan harder and our TV-culture.

It’s interesting to note that while most of the classic Abu Mahjoob caricatures during Ramadan were commentaries about the general social survival of the Holy month, Hajjaj began to switch gears a little in recent years. Since 2005 or so, Hajjaj has tried to find some humor in the insane socioeconomic climate, where people cannot afford Ramadan anymore. Prices are too high, and wages are too low. Yet, people will still tend to go overboard with the purchase and consumption of food, accordingly with the local culture of Ramadan.

Hajjaj accurately displays the conflict, or the rather the struggle between this overbearing culture of consumption faced with the overbearing unprecedented socioeconomic realities.

Hopefully I’ll get to write a post on the topic later on this month, at least in a way that I haven’t before. In the meantime, here’s a collection of Hajjaj’s post-2005 work that I think best describes that struggle:


  • When you think about it ..Ramadaan should not cost you more ..cause you are not supposed to eat more…a fast should never be followed by a pigging out session. Peoples’ unreasonable behaviour in ramadan is what drives prices up!!

  • Maha, i agree, totally.

    This Ramadan i decided i will start a new system, i invite everyone to consider it too, at f6oor have only few dates and laban, water and if really necessary then some soup too. then you go and pray, then you rest or read quran, then you pray 3isha, and then tarawee7, and THEN you go back home to have a meal. you will notice how small are the amounts that you will eat. you wont be as hungry. you will train yourself to think less of food and concentrate on using your time doing other stuff, hopefuly spiritual stuff.
    ta2deeb innafs, isnt that the whole point about it? and as one great thinker i know said:
    “Easy on the ga6ayif”


  • Amazing entry Nas!!!very sad though! I wish that we would all try to do what you are proposing but I believe that less than 1% currently do eat reasonably or try to do something other than eating!!! SAD VERY VERY SAD!

  • well i like your system khalid n i wish i can follow it… but eating a meal after 10:00 is something i’d never dare to do considering that i should sleep around 11:30 so that i wake up early in the morning. i don’t even have so7oor just to make sure i have 8hrs of sleep…
    the right way of fasting can’t be followed in most of the people’s way of life that’s why your system for me is like a utopian dream hehe but thx anyway for sharing maybe when i retire i’d be able to do that 😛

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