Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ramadan in the UAE

     Ramadan is the holy month in the Islamic religion.  During this month Muslims do not eat or drink during the day time,each year Ramadan is 10 days earlier than the last year because it goes by the lunar calender.  This year Ramadan started in Sunday June 29.  Muslims with get up before the sun rises and eat, this meal is called suhoor. When the sun sets, the breaking of the fast is called iftar and individuals usually break the fast with their family and friends.  This usually occurs around 7:15 pm here.
       Many business have Ramadan hours.  Restaurants such as McDonalds and Starbucks are closed during the day and only open after iftar.  Grocery stores at still open, but once again you cannot eat in public.  Since we are still in school (doing absolutely nothing, by the way) our Ramadan hours are 9 am to 1 pm. Luckily we have been getting out around noon.  If we want to eat or drink, as non Muslims we kind of have to hide since it is extremely disrespectful to eat or drink in front of other Muslims during Ramadan. It is actually illegal to eat and drink in public, this includes your car and you can get a ticket if you are caught by the police. We must also refrain from playing load music in our cars and try and dress modestly (even more modestly than usual).
     I have to admit that it feels weird to have to sneak into the bathroom to drink water or have a small snack but I guess that is what you have to do.

Ramadan Kareem to all my Muslim readers!

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