O Moon. Where art thou?

The Muslims around the world are looking up for the moon to see if tomorrow is the 1st of Ramadan... While in the depths of the Indian ocean, in the scattered islands of the Maldives the Muslim populace silently wait looking up at their "moon" (better known locally as ---moon) to see if tomorrow is Ramadan or not.

I remember this particular "moon sighting" event back from the days I slogged for the President's Office with a diminutive salary but unique job title of "Web Developer". It was the first Eid during my time at the PO and as always I had to work late. Then around evening, I receive a press release from the "Press Unit" for publication on the President's Office website. I read the press release and just stood there in utter shock. Here with me was the press release regarding the moon sighting event that would be held that night and yes - the outcome of this colourful, televised/broadcasted live ceremony as well! There written in detail was the events of the ceremony complete with snips from any speeches. This was better than astrology. This was living the future right then and there.

Are even religious events and holy days rigged? Are they preset and predetermined for political benefit? I snapped out a fake reality and burst out of another bubble - I knew better from then on. I watched in amusement as whole events - with no exemptions for the holy - be planned and orchestrated with brilliant precision. I watched as everyone was hoarded in rooms and halls, dressed in their best attire and silently be made a fool of themselves. Oh well, just another exciting tale from my days at PO...

Anyway, let me steal a few lines from http://www.moonsighting.com/ regarding the start of Ramadan:

"Sighting Possibilities for Ramadan 1426
Ramadan: The Astronomical New Moon is on Monday October 3, 2005 at 10:28 Universal Time. Looking at the visibilty curve one can understand that the moon is in the Southern Hemisphere. The moon is about 15 hours old and being too low on the horizon for North America will set in 14 min. after sunset on west coast. It cannot be seen in North America nor anywhere East of USA October 3. On October 4, it will be visible in most of the world except most of Asia and Europe, where it will be 24 to 31 hours old and less than 2 degrees above the horizon, still not visible. In Europe and most of Asia, it cannot be seen until October 5, when it will be 48 to 55 hours old. Accordingly, the first day of Ramadan will be on Wednesday, October 5, 2005 for North America and most of the world, except most of Asia and Europe, Insha-Allah."



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