- Title: Ramadan's return in Azaz brings welcome familiarity to war-torn Syria
- Date: 5th June 2017
- Summary: AZAZ, SYRIA (JUNE 3, 2017) (VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS) CARS DRIVING ALONG ROAD MEN UNLOADING GOODS FROM BACK OF TRUCK AT LIQUORICE SHOP WORKERS MAKING PREPARATIONS OUTSIDE LIQUORICE SHOP VARIOUS OF BAGS OF LIQUORICE DRINK BEING PREPARED FOR SALE TRANSPARENT PLASTIC BAGS HOLDING LIQUORICE DRINK SITTING ON COUNTER VARIOUS OF SHOP WORKERS POURING LIQUID OVER SACK VARIOUS OF LIQUORICE DRINK POURING INTO BUCKET SHOP WORKER SCOOPING LIQUORICE DRINK INTO JUG, POURING BACK INTO BUCKET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DRINKS SELLER, MOHAMAD TERKO, SAYING: "We tie it up and let it soak in water from Suhoor (pre-dawn) until around noon. Then at noon we transport it and prepare it in front of people, so that they can have it fresh.'' VARIOUS OF LIQUORICE DRINK BEING PREPARED OUTSIDE SHOP VARIOUS OF BREAD LOAVES SITTING ON COUNTERS OUTSIDE BAKERY BREAD AND DOUGH SITTING ON TRAYS INSIDE BAKERY BAKER PICKING UP DOUGH FROM MIXER, PLACING IT ON COUNTER VARIOUS OF BAKERS PREPARING DOUGH FOR BAKING BAKER LOADING TRAYS OF SHAPED DOUGH FOR BAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BAKER, AHMAD TADFY, SAYING: "The truth is that making Al-Marouk goes back to our ancestors during the holy months of Ramadan, praise be to God upon you and us. People are used to having Al-Marouk after Iftar, they will have a portion. It comes in either cheese, chocolate or coconut. Some people order it with bananas. Many people can't go without it and its famous here in Aleppo (region)." VARIOUS OF BREAD AND DOUGH SITTING ON TRAYS INSIDE BAKERY VARIOUS OF BREAD BEING BAKED IN OVEN VARIOUS OF MUSAHARATI DRUMMERS HERALDING APPROACH OF DAWN (NIGHT SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 19th June 2017 11:41
- Keywords: dawn to sunset traditional food licorice Ramadan Syria Azaz
- Location: AZAZ, SYRIA
- City: AZAZ, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016K01FF9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Despite the frequent upheavals of conflict suffered by Syria over the last seven years, some things never change, in particular the cravings for a traditional liquorice drink that becomes a staple during Ramadan.
Makers of the liquid liquorice, staying true to ancient preparation techniques, pour it to and fro between containers outside their shop in Azaz and into plastic bags ready for the buying public.
"We tie it up and let it soak in water from Suhoor (pre-dawn) until around noon," said Mohamad Terko, one of the shop's workers. "Then at noon we transport it and prepare it in front people, so that they can have it fresh,'' said juice seller Mohamad Terko.
War continues to rage nearby, the Islamic State having been ousted from their last major stronghold in Aleppo province by the Syrian army on Sunday (June 4).
The advance has brought Russian-backed government forces to the border of Raqqa province, which is largely under the control of U.S.-backed militias also fighting Islamic State. But the U.S. has so far ruled out cooperating with the government in the fight against Islamic State in the country, where separate military campaigns have forced the jihadist group into retreat.
Islamic State militants have been holed up in desert areas in the southeast corner of Aleppo, now their only presence in the province. Syrian government forces control Aleppo city and much of the province's east, while rebel groups hold swathes of its west.
In times far from normal, bakers resume the Ramadan tradition of preparing the Al-Marouk breads that can be served with savoury or sweet ingredients.
"Making Al-Marouk goes back to our ancestors during the holy months of Ramadan, praise be to God upon you and us," said baker Ahmad Tadfy. "Many people can't go without it and its famous here."
The Ramadan drummers, known as 'Musaharati' bring their own history to Azaz, walking the streets before dawn to declare the imminent onset of the fast.
Even though most people now use their smartphone alarms to get them up in time, the drumming is regarded by many as a salutary tradition, echoing Ramadan from centuries past.
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