Muslims expect children to fast during Ramadan. It's a great source of pride for a father when his five-years-old daughter is about to go into a coma has been fasting for the whole day. It's child abuse masquerading as piety.
There's tremendous social pressure to fast in schools as well. The cafeterias are closed! When I lived in Saudi Arabia, I could go without eating food the whole day but not drinking water was beyond me. After coming back from school, I would gulp a liter of water and have a snack. My parents didn't mind. Unfortunately, many have to hide from their mom and dad to commit the horrible sin of eating food:
Hiding snacks under their beds or behind piles of clothes, young Tunisians are finding ways to subvert the Ramadan fast -- despite being locked down with their Muslim conservative parents.
The generation gap in religious observance is not new but it took on a new dimension this year as the fasting month coincides with strict movement restrictions to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A Facebook group for Tunisians seeking to circumvent social pressures and eat during the day has attracted some 12,000 members.
This isn't merely an issue of a few strict parents. The thugs with badges will throw you behind bars for this "crime":
The North African country's post-revolution constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, but there are no clear laws against eating in public during the holy month. But every Ramadan, the police arrest people caught eating or smoking during the daylight hours, citing vague "public decency" legislation or a decades-old directive.