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Letters to the Editor
August 2004

"Mash Akbar Syndrome": A Potential Surgical Complication

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(8):1001. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.8.1001-a

During the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. One of the followers is Mash Akbar, a nice man who was working in my grandparent's home for ages. He used to complete the fasting month with success—and I always wondered how!

One morning, during the month of Ramadan and while the sunny sky of my hometown could leave no doubt that fasting hours had started, I saw a moving object, a big one, under a heavy blanket. Curious to know what was moving, I turned the blanket and saw the smiling face of Mash Akbar eating watermelon, bread, and cheese, a traditional local meal. He smiled at me and said, "Don't worry, God will not see me. I am under the blanket!" I laughed and confirmed his feeling. Darkness and the cavity-like space of the blanket made him secure about his act.