During Ramadan, late-night gyms boom in the Gaza Strip

In this Sunday, May 26, 2019 photo, a Palestinian athlete poses for a picture at Techno-Gym in Gaza City. The Gaza Strip has a booming nocturnal gym scene that comes alive past midnight during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, catering to Palestinians ready to reform their Ramadan routine. Besides self-discipline and prayer intended to bring adherents closer to God, the month is famed for its lavish meals and heavy desserts that follow a daylong fast, fueling weight-gain concerns among a growing group of middle-class men in the Palestinian enclave. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — It’s past midnight, but a dozen Palestinians are still running and sweating at a gym in the Gaza Strip.

During Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan, Techno-Gym transforms into a late-night hot spot for young men struggling to stay in shape. In addition to self-discipline and prayer intended to bring adherents closer to God, the month is famed for its lavish meals and heavy desserts that follow a daylong fast.

Over the past decade, the gym business in the Gaza Strip has boomed. With many gyms’ hours extended until 2 a.m. for the holy month, some Palestinians come late.

Anas al-Najjar, a music teacher, explained: “As I live in Gaza under siege and pressures, such beautiful and neat gyms help us replace the pent-up energy with something good for our health.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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