Ramadan is the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims around the world. In France, however, it can be challenging for Muslim workers to fast while working full-time. Because France is a secular country, there are few special provisions for fasting employees. This means that many French Muslims have to find alternative ways to prepare for iftar, the meal eaten after sunset to break the fast.
The Struggle in Iftar Preps
Reem, a woman of Egyptian descent who is a French citizen and works as a shop assistant in Paris, says that fasting has become a test of endurance for her since she began working. By the time she gets home from work, she has little time to prepare a proper iftar meal with a variety of dishes. This is a common problem faced by many French Muslims who work full-time jobs.
As a consequence, numerous individuals have started relying on food-delivery services for their iftar meal. These services provide them with the convenience of having a variety of cuisines delivered to their doorstep, without the need to spend hours in the kitchen. Madjid, a person of Moroccan origin who is a resident of France and works as a high-school teacher, says that ordering iftar online allows him to experience different cuisines such as Lebanese, Moroccan, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, and Indian.
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The Rise of Online Deliveries
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in all types of home deliveries, including food and groceries. Many people in France have continued to order food and grocery deliveries online even though life has largely returned to normal. This is because they see it as a more convenient option.
This year, many restaurants in France have added specially curated iftar options to their delivery menus on websites and apps such as parisgourmand.com. Customers can order an Algerian iftar meal from Mama Nissa, an Indian option from Jaipur Cafe, Lebanese-Moroccan cuisine from Rouna, or an Indonesian iftar from Djakarta Bali, among many others.
Special Iftar Menus
To cater to the demand for iftar meals during Ramadan, some of the well-known restaurants in Paris, including Mansouria and Qasti, have introduced exclusive menus for dine-in and takeaway customers. Mansouria, acclaimed for its Moroccan cuisine, and Qasti, led by the acclaimed Lebanese chef Alan Geaam, are popular choices among customers looking for a memorable iftar experience.
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The Cost of Ordering Online
Ordering iftar online every day may be convenient, but it comes at a cost. The price of an iftar meal ranges from €17 ($19) to €45 per person, or even more. This means that many individuals living on modest incomes or people with large families may not be able to afford this privilege.
Fasting during Ramadan can be a challenge for many Muslims living in secular countries like France. However, food-delivery services have made it easier for French Muslims to observe their religious obligations while working full-time. Although the convenience of ordering iftar online comes at a cost, it is still advantageous in comparison to having to prepare an iftar meal in a short amount of time after a full day of work.