Wednesday, May 31, 2017


After wearying second shifts for me, Muhammad, the Supervisor of Maintenance on third shift, would offer me a ride to my car, while driving his 3-wheel cart.  During those few minutes, we had good conversations, and I admit that I used these conversations to "schmooze" and ask favors to get things fixed because he had the authority to gauge priority.

Everyone, except for me, called him "Mo".  One night, I asked, "Muhammad, are you all prepared for Ramadan?"  He said, "Well, thank you for knowing about Ramadan;  we're having problems finding a goat."  I asked, "Do you need one already dressed or on hoof?"  He stopped the cart, turned to me, obviously surprized, and asked, "Do you know of any way to get one?"  I answered, "Sure, a friend of mine raises goats."  He asked, "Where does he live?"  I chuckled and said, "Well, SHE lives in my county."  He asked, "Would she sell any?"  I said, "I'll call her tomorrow and ask her the cost, etc."

The following day, I called my friend and after three days, Muhammad came from Springfield to purchase the goat, and visited with us in my home.  He said they would be using the goat to roast for Eid-al-Fitr.  Afterwards, Muhammad mentioned my kindness several times. 

John, my best friend--at work--was a friend of Muhammad's and he made the amusing accusation that my "goat-arranging" was just to have my requisitions to be given top priority. He said, "Yeah, I heard you buttered up Mo by saying Ramadan Kareem;  what the Hell does that mean?"  I said, "You can say that, it means, 'Congratulations, it's Ramadan', or you can say 'Ramadan Mubarak', that  means 'Generous Ramadan';  both are rather like saying Happy Ramadan."  John responded, "Do you think I can get my tools fixed faster if I say it?"  I laughed and said, "You better learn about Eid-al-Fitr!"

Ramadan is celebrated worldwide by members of the Islamic faith.  It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, this year from May 26 to June 24.  Ramadan is the commemoration of the date that the Prophet Muhammad received the Holy Quran and the month-long observance ends with the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr.

I have indeed been fortunate to know a number of people of the Islamic faith.  I have been invited to their homes for dinner, shared joy in weddings and other celebrations, and at funerals, to share in their grief.

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