|During Ramadan, Moroccan families take evening or late night strolls along Rue Mohamed V in Rabat.|
Of course, part of me enjoys the challenge, but the greatest motivation of all is not personal but social. In any Muslim country, Ramadan presents one of the surest opportunities to get "in" with the locals. Fasting far surpasses the "gesture of solidarity" realm—it's not easy, as Muslims know firsthand. Because they fast out of religious conviction, many show respect for any non-Muslim with the capacity and willpower to partake voluntarily. In this most generous of seasons, that respect translates into a lot of new friendships, invitations to share meals, and a rare instance of genuine bonding across the great cultural divide. This instance of commonality is all the more precious here in Morocco, a place where the locals have a distinct edge about them.