So I’ve just recently moved to Dubai, I’m Muslim and am observing fasts daily for the whole of this lunar month which Muslims call the month of Ramadan. This month is the holiest month of the Muslim calender where the millions of muslim all around the world all abstain from food and drink throughout the day and only eating at night. Fasting isn’t that hard here, I know it’s weird since its near 48 degrees hot here and all but when you have ac you don’t feel the thirst as much. It’s surprising how productive you can be getting chores and projects done which you’ve been letting slide when you don’t need make and plan meals during the day. It’s also humbling to know much food we excessively eat and how much we really need to get by.
Anyway, so I’m observing fast and going about my daily business doing groceries taking kids out and furniture shopping and notice that all the food outlets are closed during daylight hours during Ramadan. Not one place that I could see was open for business I asked my husband about the peculiarity and he explained that it was the law here. No one is allowed to even eat in public. Remembering this in my head one time when I was alone with kids and they started crying for food I took them in the washroom to feed them, not very nice! I then asked my husband later that day are kids allowed to eat in public he’s like yeh of course, why? I just hurried past oh no reason just asking.
Phew kids are ok needn’t feel guilty to feed them but what about the non muslim expats? What do they do all day? I may fast all day but I’m used to it I’ve been doing it since I was 11, plus its part of my religion but how are the expats coping? Im not used to this as I’ve been living in the UK up until last winter. Over there Muslims carried on working full hours and taking lunch breaks (due to health and safety) where they have to witness food being devoured left right and centre. Regardless of you observing fast, life carried on. Here the life is at a standstill till iftar time ( sunset – when muslims break fast) of course it’s so much easier for the fasting person not have yummy smells throughout the day making your mouth water but just wondered where do all the non Muslims go?
Photo: a snapshot of first Iftar meal of ramadan 2013. All that fatty richness yumm!