For some strange reason, there are a few things that are common in every Arab aazima (gathering) in Ramadan, no matter where in the world you are.
If you've ever hosted one or been invited to one, you know these 10 things are bound to happen at an iftar gathering:
1. Someone is always late
That person usually shows up a couple of minutes after the Maghrib azhan goes off, and usually doesn't even bother coming up with an excuse.
2. Everyone always over eats
Just a little bit of everything gets you around five full plates of food.
3. Then complains about overeating
They will all move from the dining room chair to the couch and refuse to be moved for the next two hours.
4. There's always that one person who makes remarks on how the food could be better
That fattoush needs a little more lemon juice and that koussa needs more time cooking.
Save it, sweetie, no one wants to hear it.
5. There's always, always sambosek
Or at least some rakakat, maybe even kebbeh. No matter what it is, no aazima is complete without it.
6. The hostess becomes queen of the world for a few hours
She will feel accomplished for making all this food and inviting all these people. Oh, and she'll boss everyone around.
7. Muslims who fast during Ramadan take their coffee/tea seriously
One cup of either beverages after iftar in mandatory before they can think or converse with you.
8. No one is allowed to leave before they eat dessert
This one is a must... and no-one is sad about it.
9. People stand at the elevator for around 10 minutes before they leave
Remembering to talk about their son who broke his leg after holding the elevator door open... while the son with the broken leg stands waiting for his parents.
10. And the leftovers always look something like this
That bossy hostess we mentioned? She's probably going to offer a box.