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 Photographs  

Wherever you are in Siwa,
 a good rule of thumb
 is never to take a personís 
picture without his or her permission. Photographing 
women is absolutely forbidden 
and will cause great offense.



 The birth of a child is a very happy day for the parents particularly if it is their first child. On the same day that the child is born the father will send a girl from the household to invite both his and the motherís family to welcome the new child and celebrate the birth.                          

It is traditional that the family will bring gifts to the mother and the new child; money is hidden inside the childís clothing and clothes for the baby are given to the mother. 

The women of the household will prepare the first meal. Traditionally this would be fish stew but now it is more common to cook macaroni and meat. At sunset the girls join in song in celebration of the birth. 

The mother rests in bed for one week. She is cared for by the other women. Special food is prepared for her. Her mother will take care of the new child.  

All the relatives are invited to attend the house of the mother and father of the child on the seventh day after its birth. In preparation for this event, the women gather on the third day in order to bake bread and ensure that everything will be in order. It is traditional that they eat beans and rice at this gathering.  

On the seventh day there is a naming ceremony for the child. Early in the morning the men will slaughter a sheep. This will be eaten with rice or macaroni. 

At this celebration, according to Islam a childsí hair must be shaved and its weight in gold measured. This weight in sweets would then be given to all the children present. This rule is observed in present day by shaving the childís hair and giving gifts of sweets to the children. 

The name of the child will be announced to the guests by the mother and father.  

When the child is one month old it makes its first visit to the mosque. Girls from the area will take the child. There is an old, less common, practice that the child will be taken to be blessed by an old woman on the way to the mosque. At the mosque the child will be blessed by a holy man. The children will then form a circle and eat.     

 


 
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