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Podcast: The Significance Of -- And Secrets To Surviving -- The Islamic Holy Month Of Ramadan

Breaking The Ramadan Fast
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Members of the Alekozai family sit down for iftar, the evening meal during the holy month of Ramadan, and explain what foods they share to break their fast together.

"The Blender" isn't all that good at fasting, it turns out. But it loves a good dinner. So it was all of the fun and very little of the struggle this week as "The Blender" joined RFE/RL Afghan broadcaster Jan Alekozai for dinner as part of a very special podcast focused on the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Daisy Sindelar
Ramadan, which this year falls during the entire month of August, is perhaps the best-loved holiday on the Islamic calendar. All over the world, Muslims mark the holy month by giving to charities, visiting friends and relatives, and -- most importantly -- abstaining from food, water, and even video games between sunrise and sunset. But once the sun goes down, they sit down to count their blessings with a festive meal.

That's where Jan and his wife and four sons come in.

"The Blender" was lucky enough to get a seat at the family's dining-room table to enjoy a sumptuous Ramadan dinner of mung-bean soup, meat dumplings with yogurt, qabili palau, and much, much more. (See the mouthwatering video above.)

During the meal, they shared memories about Ramadans past and divulged some of their secrets for surviving -- and even enjoying -- 17-hour days with no food or water.

In the meantime, Andy Heil, the managing editor of RFE/RL's English-language website, took to the corridors of our Prague headquarters to talk to some of our other Muslim colleagues about why they are -- or aren't -- observing the fast.

We hope you enjoy this week's show, which is hosted by Daisy Sindelar.

Want to share your own Ramadan experiences with us? We'd love to hear from you. Send your stories -- plus any other questions, comments, or critiques -- to, or leave a comment below.

Listen to or download Episode 31 of "The Blender" below or subscribe to "The Blender" on iTunes. For the complete Blender archive, click here.

RFE/RL's The Blender -- 8/11/11 (Episode 31)
Surviving Ramadan -- 8/11/11 (Episode 31)
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