It’s that time of the year again folks. Doha takes a chill pill- the pious get serious, the others can take a step back from the hecticness of it all. The roads become less insane (except between 6 and 7 PM when the severely tired and hypoglycaemic folks try to beat the Adhaan and get to their families) and the malls go berserk past sundown. The peak hours shift and the work hours- well, let’s just let that be.
Overall, people seem to postpone everything to “Insha’Allah after Ramadan” and generally speaking there is shift in mood that is hard to describe in words. Of course, this isn’t a good time, if you want anything “done”. But it’s a great time for folks around this part of the world, to spend some quality time with family and take a breather before the school terms and sales targets commence, and other not so pleasant things become important again.
I wouldn’t like to comment on the religious aspects of Ramadan, for I’m a firm believer that faith is an extremely private and personal matter- between you and your God (if you believe in one). But I do feel for all the folks here, who are not fasting. I have a colleague who is in a Muslim country for the first time, and has no clue how she will get by this month. I don’t have many tips to offer her, because my sentiments are quite the opposite.
I am someone who is used to spending Ramadan in secular countries, where religion is not a public/ State matter. I am used to working long hours while I fast, and never getting any special considerations during the month. Breaking my fast, meant sneaking in a date and some juice in the ward, and then having dinner afterward like everyone else. So, I really do find it easier here.
I throughly enjoy the almost sombre moods during the day- the empty cafeteria and ease with which one can say “I’m going for a prayer break”. It is also hard to not get into the festive spirit during the evenings when the whole city comes alive.
What I find hard to swallow, is the wastage. Of food, resources and time. And using the religious obligations as an excuse to procrastinate on administrative and worldly matters, that may be of paramount importance to someone else. Alas.
Anyhoo, let us not kill the mood here folks. Whether you fast or not, whether your find this month to be great and wish it lasted more than month, or find it annoying (like I know some people do)- let us make the best of what we have got and enjoy it.
My hours will unfortunately not change much, and to make matters worse the nursery hours for my daughter have been severely shortened. We have no idea how we are going to work around it, but like always we know it will work out at the end. I wish that nurseries understood the fact they are like an ER, they are an essential service for some parents, and should therefore maybe not throw us into the deep end in a month that is going to be busy anyway. Sigh!
As for the wastage, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is surely worth at least a million ones.
Ramadan Kareem folks!
Till next time,