Bin Laden Ramadan lanterns show record sales in Egypt
( RIA Novosti ) - Huge Ramadan lanterns, displaying the world's number one terrorist Osama bin Laden are proving immensely popular among Egyptian children, the Al-Masri Al-Yaoum newspaper said Thursday.
Fanoos, a Ramadan lantern, lighted from inside by a candle, became the symbol of Ramadan in early Islamic Egypt, when women visited relatives with lanterns to break the fast.
Sellers say the immense popularity of the bin Laden lanterns among children can be explained by his long white beard and traditional Islamic clothing which are reminiscent of a popular "cartoon hero."
"All bin Ladens have already been snatched up" - the newspaper quotes a fanoos merchant in Ismalia, a city on the west bank of the Suez Canal, as saying.
The lanterns, made of elaborate tin and colored glass, are produced in China and cost significantly more than other fanoos - 100 Egyptian pounds ($18).
Egypt is known for its weird Ramadan goods. Every year Cairo merchants name their dates in a tradition allowing Muslims to break the fast during the Islamic holy month, when observant Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset. Last year stalls in the Egyptian capital were packed with "bin Laden," "Nasrallah" and "Saddam" dates.