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BEIRUT: Plates of baklava and hot-pink sugar cookies, racks of classically trimmed abayas and loose robes with graphic prints: a mash-up of old-fashioned and modern Ramadan traditions fill the Souk Ramadaniyat, an ongoing festival at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure center.Makhzoumi, a vast charity organization that runs various social service projects throughout the year, puts on the annual Souk Ramadaniyat festival, a market and entertainment venue featuring four nights of shopping and performances themed around the country's Islamic and Arab heritage.In many ways, the annual market and Makhzoumi's charitable work during the month show the ways in which Ramadan's age-old traditions have evolved and adapted to modern life.Abaya, a traditional long-sleeve robe, makes an annual return during Ramadan as one of the holy month's lighter modern traditions.A sign of the garment's seasonal significance, the Ramadaniyat festival will host a fashion show of abaya Saturday night from among the many craftswomen open for business at the souk.
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