Photos shown below have been sitting in my file archives for a week and I was waiting for the proper time to post and share it with you. Taken from the emirate of Dubai, along the 20th Street, at 316 District of Bur Dubai Community at the time of salat al maghreb (sunset prayer). I thought of posting it on the first week of October for my Guest photos where in I feature photos taken from the other emirates of the UAE anytime during the first week of the month. I guess it would be better to share these photos today because today marks the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadan for our Muslim brothers and sisters here in the UAE and most of the middle east countries. The rest of the world will probably start celebrating Ramadan on Thursday depending on the sighting of the moon in their respective countries.
Ramadan is the 9th lunar month of the Muslim calendar and occurs about 11 days earlier every Gregorian year. The word ramadan comes from the Arabic root word ramida, meaning arid heat or parched thrist. It is very sacred and special to our Muslim brothers and sisters since the Qur'an, the Holy book of the Muslims, was first revealed to their Prophet during Ramadan. It is intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility and spirituality. Muslims offer more prayers than usual.
window, dome and minaret
During the holy month of Ramadan, our Muslim brothers and sisters are fasting from dawn to dusk. It begins after they have eaten their suhoor, just before the call for prayer starts until after the salat al maghreb. They will break their fast with the meal called Iftar.
Public eating and drinking, including chewing gum is totally prohibited to Muslims and non Muslims. Though it is prohibited to eat and drink in the public, non Muslims can also eat inside their own respective houses and at their workplace depending on the company that they work for. Many are being catered for. In the hospital where in I am working, we can still eat and drink but we need to go our staff dining room or we can go to the hospital canteen where dishes are being served in the regular meal times.
To lessen the difficulties of fasting while working, UAE Labour Law prescribes a reduction of working hours by two. Instead of working from the official 07:00 to 03:00 PM, it would become 08:00 to 02:00 PM. Here in the hospital where I work for, the administrative department are working from 09:00 AM until 03:00 in the afternoon. For those working in the nursing and technical departments, we are still following our usual working hours, which is 12 hours, from 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM. We do have of what we call 'Ramadan time', which means we will be given a day off depending on the unit census until we all get the 40 hours of Ramadan time alloted to each of the staff members.
In the next few days, I'll be featuring some photos depicting the usual activities during the month of Ramadan and that includes the "feasts", where the night becomes day. More photos and stories to share next time.
Word(s) of the day: Ramadam Kareem has a literal meaning of Ramadan is generous.
Source of information: From an Arab neighbor, actual working hours in the hospital where I am working, and my Ramadan experiences for the past 5 years. You can also click the links for more information.
RAMADAN KAREEM! Salaam!