Ramadan fast begins in sweltering heat

Over a billion Muslims around the world began observing the holy month of Ramadan  on Wednesday, with the dawn-to-dusk fast posing a particular challenge for the devout in the sweltering Middle East summer.
A heat wave has covered much of the region, putting even the most ardent believers to the test.
In some places — such as Egypt, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip — the hardship of abstaining from food, drink and cigarettes for 15 hours was compounded by frequent power outages.