Ramadan, the holiest month of the year in the Middle East region, is approaching.
This year, it is expected that the holy month of Ramadan will start on May 27th but this will be confirmed by a moon sighting on the same day. Ramadan is an extremely important and significant time of the year for Muslims. It is the month of devout observance, where Islamic values, cultural traditions and giving and sharing, play an important part for all Muslims.
During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise many Muslims have the Suhur or predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast. Many Muslims begin the meal by eating dates as the Prophet used to do. Out of respect for the holy month and for fasting coworkers, citizens and residents, eating and drinking is prohibited in public areas during fasting times.
Charity is an important part of Ramadan. The fast emphasizes self-sacrifice and using the experience of hunger to grow in empathy with the hungry. During Ramadan, Muslim communities work together to raise money for the poor, donate clothes and food, and hold iftar dinners for the less fortunate.
Ramadan provides an important opportunity for the Intouch Family to show its appreciation and respect for Muslim culture and customs. Westerners living in the region are asked to show respect to the local culture and take the opportunity to embrace these practices in the following ways:
- Dress more conservatively than usual, especially when visiting administrations and schools
- Do not eat, drink, or chew gum in public places during the daytime, including in the car;
- Show sensitivity, understanding, and respect to those who may be fasting
- Take this opportunity to embrace the local culture and experience for example a traditional Iftar.
- Familiarize yourself with the Ramadan tradition and principles and the history behind these, so that you can, in turn, educate your families and children
- Finally, seize this opportunity to participate in one of the many charity events taking place during the month of Ramadan, known as the month of caring and giving. Intouch Relocations will be participating, as last year in feeding Iftar meals to the less privileged ones living in the region. We will prepare Iftar packs which will be distributed through the Ramadan fridges or directly on construction sites.
Non-Muslims are free to participate in Ramadam. Many non-Muslims fast and even pray with their Muslim friends or family members. Non-Muslims are often invited to attend prayer and iftar dinners.
Those wishing to be polite to someone who is fasting for Ramadan may greet them with Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem, which mean Have a Blessed or Generous Ramadan.