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Sweets spread the spirit of Ramadan at Syrian refugee camp

Source : Al Arabiya | 20 Jul 2013

Syrian confectioners are preparing traditional Ramadan pancakes, bringing the spirit of the holy month to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, pan-Arab entertainment website Albawaba reported on Friday.

One of the confectioners, Daraa-born Ali Hariri, said he didn’t want his fellow Syrians to forget the Ramadan atmosphere, despite being in the camp.

“All confectioners in the camp wanted to provide their fellow Syrians with the same experience they used to have in Syria,” he told The Jordan Times.

The confectioners began preparing the sweets at the beginning of the fasting month.

Qatayef, folded pancakes usually filled with cheese, pistachio, coconut and cream and soaked in sugar syrup, are a part of Ramadan tradition in Syria.

But many of the people in the camp cannot afford such ingredients.

“Cream is the only ingredient they can afford,” Abu Haitham, another confectioner, told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

In the spirit of Ramadan, the vendors do not charge much for the qatayef.

Hariri said that he sells one kilogram of qatayef for 750 fils.

“If my customers want me to stuff and cook the qatayef, I sell one kilogramme for JD1,” he told The Jordan Times.

For some camp residents, even this cost is too high, and both vendors give some qatayef away for free.

“Every day, I prepare 100 kilos and distribute 20 of them free of charge to those who cannot afford to buy qatayef,” Abu Haitham told The Jordan Times.

For the confectioners, preparing and distributing the Ramadan sweet is a chance to regale fellow camp residents, The Jordan Times reported.

“I just want to bring Ramadan joy to the families in the camp,” Hariri said.