Jeddah’s Al-Balad Celebrates Ramadan Under Curfew

People walk at Jeddah's historical area Al-Balad during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Life is slowly returning to Jeddah’s historic neighborhood, al-Balad. This is with the advent of Islam’s holy month of fasting, Ramadan. And after authorities loosened the curfew imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

During the day, merchants and shoppers at al-Balad abide by the health precautionary measures in place. Al-Balad goes back to the 7th century and historically served as the center of Jeddah.

The public in Jeddah shop at al-Balad’s marketplace. Today, everybody is keen on enjoying the festive spirit brought about by Ramadan. Besides, preparing to purchase Eid al-Fitr necessities such as new clothes, cologne, gifts, and sweets.

Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”; is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.

With the coronavirus crisis hitting this Ramadan season; the public is adjusting their schedules to fit the 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM curfew and still celebrate the holy month.

Even though the curfew has been eased, caution was still prevalent among shoppers at al-Balad. They maintained social distancing and donned masks and gloves when shopping.

According to market-goers, the most requested commodity was clothes.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, shoppers at al-Balad used to social gatherings and public meetings in the areas adjacent to the markets. However, with the measures and precautions imposed by the concerned authorities in Saudi Arabia, such gatherings have shrunk save for a few quick meetings in the afternoon.