BHANNINE, Lebanon (AP) — It was messy and hectic in Aisha al-Abed’s kitchen, as the first day of Ramadan often is. Food had to be on the table at precisely 7:07 p.m. when the sun sets and the daylong fast ends.

What is traditionally a jovial celebration of the start of the Muslim holy month around a hearty meal was muted and dispirited for her small Syrian refugee family.

As the 21-year-old mother of two worked, with her toddler daughter in tow, reminders of life’s hardships were everywhere: In the makeshift kitchen, where she crouched on the ground to chop cucumbers next to a single-burner gas stove. In their home: a tent with a concrete floor and wooden walls covered in a tarp. And, definitely, in their iftar meal -- rice, lentil soup, french fries and a yogurt-cucumber dip; her sister sent over a little chicken and fish.

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