INTRODUCTION: The world's 750 million Moslems are now observing the holy month of Ramadan.
GV King Hussein (on right) in Bedouin dress greeting Bedouin leaders (2 SHOTS)
GV Hussein in mosque with Bedouins, praying
SCU Religious official leading prayers
GV ZOOM TO SV PAN King Hussein in group, praying
GV Streets in Amman
SVs People washing and praying inside mosque
SVs Man making sweets, selling them at stall (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The world's 750 million Moslems are now observing the holy month of Ramadan. During this time, they must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn to dusk. Among Islamic countries observing Ramadan is Jordan where King Hussein joined Bedouin leaders on Monday (13 july) for a banquet after a day of fasting and prayers.
During the banquet, King hussein wore the same traditional dress as his Bedouin guests. The banquet, at the Royal Palace, was also attended by the Prime Minister, leading judges and other officials.
It followed a day of fasting and prayers. The King, surrounded by colleagues, bowed as low chanting began.
Ramadan recalls the month when, according to Moslem belief, the Angel Gabriel imparted the wisdom of the Koran to the prophet Mohammad in a cave near Makkah nearly 14 centuries ago. Today it is a period of atonement, when Moslems make their peace with God, and work for the supremacy of soul over body.
In many Islamic societies, Moslems have been criticised for making Ramadan a month of night time revelry to compensate for the rigours of the day. But there were few signs of it in Amman this year.
After the washing and the prayers in the city mosques, mostly people hurried home with traditional sweets -- called Khataief -- for consumption when the sun goes down. The past few years have experienced in rekindling of traditional Islamic values, in Iran and elsewhere. Thousands continue to observe the teachings of Ramadan faithfully, gathering regularly for noon prayers and keeping strictly to the ruled of fasting laid down in the Koran.