It’s that time of the hijri year. Whether you have been waiting for it, or dreading it, the time has come for us to enter what I sometimes call the ‘Muslim Fever Dream’. Whether you fast or not, the month of Ramadan will certainly feel, for yet another year, like a time lost in space. It truly is a special dimension that we get to enjoy with our loved ones, a time to reconnect with our roots in an ever-changing fast paced world.
As dinners turn into iftar and breakfast to suhoor, as night becomes day and your local deli shopkeeper slowly loses their temper with every maghrib that they complete, this Ramadan season comes with the promise of more than what we were given the last two years. This might actually be the perfect time to reflect on the state of the world, to pat ourselves on the back for making it to the end of the tunnel, and to express gratitude, bask in it, and let it illuminate our days (and nightly gatherings, of course).
Even if you’re not into any spiritual mind games or the beautiful stories we tell ourselves, you will still get to enjoy a lovingly made special meal each and every night. You will get to switch channels to keep up with a dozen musalsals, and you will certainly have your fair share of game nights to share the love and laughter.
Now for the occasion, I dug deep into the Arab and North African musical catalogue, curated a few gems into a ‘Cocktail Ramadhani’ for everyone to vibe to, at any time of the day or night. It goes like this; all-time classics, arab indie, jazz and acoustic, disco, hip-hop and experimental and a few slower songs to finish the ride. Yes, in that order. Without any further ado, this is it.
Main image: Baghdad, Iraq (2003), Alexandra Boulat