Ramadan in Nablus
I got back to Nablus yesterday afternoon, on the 8th day of Ramadan. The quiet streets were familiar from last year, as were the whistles and firecrackers that began as dark fell. One particularly loud 'pop' caught my attention, so I glanced out our living room window, which has a beautiful, broad view of Nablus. My eyes fixed on a small set of sequentially flashing red and white lights in a window across the valley. In the past 20 months in Nablus, I've gotten quite accustomed to a high level of military presence, security measures, and surveillance. As I stared at these lights, thoughts raced through my head about what they might indicate and who might be monitoring them.
After my mind raced to Jerusalem and back, it allowed my eyes to keep wandering. As full darkness came to the city, I saw dozens of other similar lights in windows and on buildings all around the valley, and realized that they were the festive lights of Ramadan.