What I learned from spending Ramadan under coronavirus lockdown

GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA — In any normal Ramadan, the month Muslims spend daytimes fasting as part of our religious practice, I would be anticipating the delights of iftar, the meal which breaks the fast in the evening, and looking forward to the week I spend in my hometown with my family.

Stretching across the whole ninth month of the shifting Islamic calendar, at the moment falling in spring, Ramadan requires fasting from dawn to dusk every day until Eid al-Fitr, the festival which ends the month. In Muslim-majority countries like Malaysia, fasting is a national ceremony, with community outreach, annual

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What I learned from two months under coronavirus lockdown in Wuhan

WUHAN, China — The day before my departure from Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 20, I received a message from my aunt in Wuhan: “Don’t come back. The virus is spreading.” Thinking of my parents and the rare chance to spend the Chinese New Year together after six years of separation, I still hopped on my flight. “After all, the situation seems to be under control, right?” I replied to my aunt.

I was locked down in Wuhan on Jan. 23 in the city’s quarantine to prevent COVID-19’s spread, and my 10-day trip was extended into an unforeseeable future. Even now,

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