Ramadan, the Roman Way

| Wed, 03/22/2023 - 08:00
May 1, 2022: the end of Ramadan at the El Fath mosque of Rome / Photo: Vincenzo Nuzzolese via Shutterstock
Muslims pray at the El Fath mosque in Rome's Magliana neighborhood, marking the end of Ramadan in May 2022 / Photo: Vincenzo Nuzzolese via Shutterstock

The Arab alimentari El Zayat in Rome’s Marconi neighborhood has the familiar din of a minimarket in Cairo. Twinkling lights curtain the facade and a plastic battery-powered sign blinks “Ramadan Kareem.” Customers and staff banter in Arabic, with a few sprinklings of Italian here and there. In a quiet moment between chops on the halal butcher’s block, an elderly man in a top hat — the only other obvious non-Arab in the store — asks me in Italian whether this or that spice would ta

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