Ramadan Is Like the Super Bowl...

What if you had to cook all day around a hot oven-while you were fasting and could not so much as take a sip of water? Yasser Kalkas, owner of Pizza Kitchen in Dearborn, faces precisely that challenge during each Ramadan season. Here's his reflection on keeping the faith - on the job ...

The first week, everybody is home cooking, so it's slow. The second week it really picks up. And by the fourth week, it's crazy (busy) because by that time people are sick of home cooking. 
Ramadan can be challenging for me because I'm here all day. You get tired. Remember, everybody wants to eat at the same time. So, we break our fast a half hour after everyone else. Then you're ready to go to sleep. 
 Ramadan is like the Super Bowl for us. For that one hour leading up to iftar (the meal as Muslims break fast at night) we're really, really busy - for 30 days. Then you're ready to go to sleep. 
Some customers come in and say, "You're crazy for doing this while you're working."
 On real hot days, I start changing colors! You start working that oven, and it's the water that's the biggest challenge. 
But it's part of who we are. This is what I believe in.
 I do it because God willing I'll have kids and this is what I'll teach them.

This article was first published at readthespirit.com on August 22, 2009.