Ramadan Kareem 2009

Today starts the first day of Ramadan. If you’re not a Muslim or not familiar with Ramadan, it is the holy month of spiritual reflection and devoutness. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is a month of obligatory daily fasting. Ramadan start dates move 10 days early every year. Daily fasts begin at dawn and end with sunset. For Muslims, fasting means not eating or drinking anything (including water) while the sun is up.

Eating, drinking and other no-no’s during Ramadan:

ramadan

I don’t see why ice cream and hamburger which symbolizes food are separated and don’t know the medicines not allowed.

As a non-Muslim, I am not required to fast even if I’m living in a Muslim country and even if more than half of my work colleagues are fasting. Work timings are from 9am to 3 pm instead of the usual 8:30 am to 6pm (with an hour of lunch break from 1-2 pm). Thirty days during the month of Ramadan, we ONLY have six hours of work (hurrah), with no lunch break in between. We non-Muslims are free to eat or drink but have to do it discretely.

This is my 3rd Ramadan in Dubai.

During my first Ramadan in 2007, I didn’t really know what to expect. I found out food shops are closed until after sunset, how difficult it is to be out on an empty stomach and can actually buy something at Burger King (they’re open) but can’t eat in public. “Can’t” is an objective word here. There’s just something in the atmosphere that would prevent you from clawing that hot, cheesy burger. In 2008, we were in Japan for most of Ramadan and when I came back, I enjoyed work time that’s three hours short but had to find ways to sneak in eating my lunch. It is always a challenge. Food that can’t be seen doesn’t mean it can’t be smelled. Nose power is twice as effective during the fasting period. I got dagger looks when I put out my ham sandwich last year.

Now, I will be here for the full 30 days of Ramadan. I am drinking green tea freely, no one argues with that. I do sneak in little finger foods like small slices of rye bread or fruit, which I do normally, anyway. At 3pm, office work finishes and I head to the gym. I’ll be eating my proper lunch at around 4:30 pm or snack and have an early dinner at 6pm.

For me, Ramadan is a time to reconnect with my family and bond with my daughter by spending more time with her. When I usually go home at around 7pm everyday, I am home at 4:30 pm during Ramadan.

*****

Ramadan Kareem to my Muslim friends all over the world.

10 thoughts on “Ramadan Kareem 2009

  1. nice and cool layout! i hope to fast with the Muslims too. I don’t understand why ice cream takes a special place on their list and why medicines are not allowed.

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  2. Hey…look at your new look!! I like it! This was very interesting to read about. I think it’s wonderful that you are taking this time to connect with family and enjoy the extra time at home.

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  3. Oh wow-I had known about Ramadan, but DIDN’T know at the same time. That’s very interesting…I love when you share these things 😀 😀 😀

    P.s. I Love the new blog look!!

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  4. Thank you so much for the information, you know I wanted to learn about it. I worry about the people who need medication though… I hope no one gets ill; plus with all the heat there, I worry about them dehydrating. I will be praying for thier safety. I think it is very admirable that you try so hard to respect thier beliefs by being discreet when you eat, that is so lovely of you. I also think it is wonderful that you get to spend so much extra time with Pristine! 🙂 When does she head back to school? Have a wonderful time with your family.

    P.S. I love the new look also.

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  5. Wow! What a lovely post! You are a very good teacher. I like learning about other cultures and religions. But it should be allowed to have medicines without water for ill people. I hope nobody will get sick during Ramadan. Happy fasting to all. Thank you for this informative article.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! It really means a lot, and it’s refreshing to hear something like this rather than “OMG YOU CAN’T EAT? YOU’RE GONNA DIE”. But you shouldn’t feel bad for sneaking food in, ’cause it’s not like you’re fasting. And so what if they can smell it or see the food? I’m a teenager and I’m surrounded by kids huffing down pizzas at lunchtime, and I think that’s part of the whole reason of fasting. So you can grow stronger that way. Anyway, I’m totally going off into something else, but I would just like to thank you for respecting this month so much, and sharing this blog entry 🙂
    God Bless,
    fatima

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  7. Based on the outcome of a research study, there was a significant effect of Ramadan fasting contributed good effects, specifically in lowering the respondent?s weight, blood sugar level and blood pressure as the days of the fasting advances. On the other hand, there was no significant change of fasting on the pulse rate of the respondents with regards to the psychosomatic health. The fasting however yields a negative effect on physical, emotional, and cognitive functions of the respondents as the days of fasting progress.

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