Ramadan is that month of the year when giving back to the society is much appreciated, being the month of giving.
Most expats who do not celebrate Ramadan might be mildly agitated at the thought of not being able to go out for lunch or coffee, or not being able to eat or drink in public at all.
Maybe we could change this mindset if we see things from the point of view of a person who does fast during the month. Surviving without food or water during the day in soaring temperatures can be quite tough.
How about we help make our fellow colleagues and friends comfortable during this month instead of whining about a few reasonable restrictions?
- Why should it matter to those who aren’t fasting?
One has to admit that the work and school timings do get better, making work less stressful. This would be a bad time to take a holiday since the work timings reduce by at least two hours.
Why not take advantage of this by heading off to get pampered at the spa? Or just stay indoors with a tall glass of iced tea and a good book.
Another reason why it does matter to all of us because living in the UAE, we all know someone who is fasting. At this time, it because important to keep them as comfortable as possible by not tempting them to break their fast.
Also, how about tagging along with your Muslim friends who are fasting and trying out an Iftar buffet for dinner? This time of the year there is delectable food available at almost all restaurants at very good deals. For all you foodies, now would be a good time to head to a restaurant that strikes your curiosity, because you can be assured you won’t be overspending.
- Treat those fasting with care
We all know that getting cranky or short tempered becomes a tendency when we don’t get our morning breakfast or coffee. It is important to understand and accept a little snapping from a friend or colleague who is fasting.
Make them comfortable by taking a little workload off of them and helping them whenever required. While the work timings are shortened, try to keep yourself from eating anything at work as you would make fasting even harder for your colleagues.
If you do prefer having a snack at work, be discreet. Bring along food that does not have a strong aroma, such as oranges or cucumbers, or even noisy packets of chips. Also, try to have your morning tea or coffee at home, instead of bringing or making it at the office, and remember to keep your bottle of water under your table or in your bag.
- How can you help?
Ramadan is meant to be the month of selfless giving. Other than helping your colleagues feel comfortable, you can do some social service or donate to charitable organizations.
If you are unsure of either of those, simply log onto daily deals websites such as Cobone or LivingSocial, which are holding special offers such as iftar tiffins or packages of food that cost between Dhs 10-30 for labourers who fast during the month even though they work during the day with soaring temperatures, but fail to save up enough money to buy adequate food every day. This is the least you can do to contribute to the society, even if you don’t celebrate Ramadan.