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Ramadan starts July 20, 2012 - Etiquette for newcomers
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4309
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject: Ramadan starts July 20, 2012 - Etiquette for newcomers Reply with quote

The official start date for the month of Ramadan 2012 is July 20. If you're slated to arrive in a Muslim country around the time of Ramadan and it's your first time in the region, I suggest you read up starting wth the following:

Traveling during Ramadan
(Source: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/be-a-responsible-tourist/travelling-during-ramadan )

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. You should be aware that levels of observance of Ramadan will vary in different countries and cultures but most Muslims will conform to some extent with the requirements of the fast - that they fast between dawn and sunset. This means they can’t eat, drink, smoke or even chew gum during daylight hours. Muslims use this time of abstention for prayer, contemplation and charitable work.

If you’re travelling to a Muslim country during Ramadan, you should be sensitive to the fast:

* Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public – many people will understand that you aren’t under the same obligation to fast but will appreciate your awareness.
* In some Muslim countries, it’s actually illegal to eat and drink in daylight during Ramadan.
* Some restaurants will close or operate amended opening hours during Ramadan.
* Restaurants that cater to tourists should open as usual but hotels will sometimes use screens to keep western diners sectioned off from Islamic guests.
* Business hours may become shorter in the day.

It’s not impossible to travel or do business in Islamic countries during Ramadan, but different rules do apply. Seek local advice on arrival either from your tour guide, hotel or business contacts.

Iftar – breaking the fast: Iftar is the time each day when the fast is broken and a meal is taken with family and friends. During Iftar there is additional pressure on taxis and other public transport, so it’s a good idea to time your movements around avoiding having to travel at this time.

Eid – the end of the fast: As the end of Ramadan approaches, there is normally a lot of activity as people traditionally visit families to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the three-day festival marking the end of the fast. You should plan accordingly if you’re planning to travel at this time.

See also http://www.arabianbusiness.com/ramadan-etiquette-413304.html?view=profile&itemid=413290

(Reposted from 2011, http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=90799 )


Last edited by nomad soul on Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every year in my experince in KSA there are cases of hapless (or stupid) non-Muslims getting into REAL trouble for eating or smoking in public or engaging in INAPPROPRIATE behaviour duting the month of Ramadan. LEARN THE RULES !
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16064
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note that eating includes chewing gum.

VS
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posh



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm given a key to the roof where I can smoke. There are various concealed spots where I eat.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16064
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every place that I worked there was some place set aside. At most, we just closed our office doors and ate/drank in there. The students were aware to knock first. At places with large group rooms for teachers, there was a lunch room. That was normally just for faculty, but during Ramadhan the women students also joined us in there at the times that they were not fasting. (once a month in case you men are unaware)

VS
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Mushakil



Joined: 16 Nov 2011
Posts: 35
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Ramadhan Tips 2012 1) driving 2) buffets Reply with quote

One nice advantage of Ramadhan is that many international and local hotels have tantalizing buffets. They are also priced well, many hotels offer an all you can eat buffet for around $30-40 US. My favorites are the Rotana hotels in the Emirates, Sheraton (3 tier chocolate fountain...oh yah) and Marriott which are located everywhere. I cannot describe how much I miss these buffets when I am living in the West.


One thing that I have noticed during Ramadhan is that about an hour before "iftar" or the time that Muslims break their fast, driving in the cities is more dangerous. Think about thousands of people driving around who are usually hungry, thirsty and can't concentrate very well. Many accidents occur at this time, so be extra vigilant when driving.

Also, you might want to read about dates, as they are a wildly popular food throughout the year and especially during Ramadhan. Also, if you are teaching in the Middle East be aware that during the end of the day your students will be very tired and possibly cranky.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomorroW! Shocked

Many of my Muslim friedns use this timw to give up alcohol. Cool That's true by the way. Cool
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scot47



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of Muslims use this month as a time to quit smoking.
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a Muslim it is a tough time of year dealing with Muslims but so is hearing "Inshallah", I can't stand the term as do most non-Muslims. I and my family never cared much about people eating in front of us because we already had in mind how much we were going to eat between sunset and sunrise, yes the days are really messed up and why many Muslims stay up late.

Most Muslims will eat like crazy before Fajr, sunrise, so to get the calories in you to at least make it to noon before starting to get hungry. We always break the fast with dates, then go pray Mahgreb, and then its time to chow down.

But as with anything in Islam, you have ways to get out of fasting: illness, medication, condition of health, children, elderly, or you can just break the fast and give either food or money to the poor. Many Muslims will have days that you have to eat, some sort of functions, so we just give money or food to a pantry or help a needy family. I normally have a couple of days during Ramadan this happens and give money to a pantry.
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scot47



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A "pantry" ???
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rdobbs98



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

food pantry for poor and indigent.
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:50 am    Post subject: Speaking of Poor Folks Reply with quote

Ramadan brings organized beggars to the Gulf and the police have responded to this:
[url]
http://www.7daysindubai.com/Ramadan-crackdown-beggars-launched-Dubai-Police/story-16539307-detail/story.html [/url][url][/url]
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, be aware that Ramadan rules are enforced. In Saudi Arabia, for example, the hai'a/mutawwa (religious police) will be out patrolling the streets in full force to enforce abstinence and other appropriate behavior. Women who don't always cover their hair when outside the compounds may want to do so during Ramadan to avoid any potential confrontations with these guys. Men are also expected to dress more conservatively when out and about for those 30 days.

In regard to the Emirates:

Ramadan rules will be ‘enforced with courtesy’
By Ed Attwood, Arabianbusiness.com | 31 July 2011
(Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/ramadan-rules-will-be-enforced-with-courtesy--413146.html?tab=Article )

Most expats are respectful of the cultural laws that apply in Ramadan, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim says. The head of the Dubai Police has said that courtesy and discretion will be the watchword as his department gears up to enforce Ramadan regulations across the emirate. “We train our officers how to deal with different nationalities and to respect non-Muslims who may inadvertently offend Muslims during Ramadan by eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the day,” Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim told Arabian Business. “We show them that these things happen, and they are to deal with it in a courteous way so that they would refrain from doing it again.”

The Association of British Travel Agents, the UK’s largest travel trade body, has told its members to warn tourists visiting during the holy month that they will face curbs on eating and drinking during daylight hours.

But Lt Gen Tamim said that most tourists and expatriates are quick to obey the rules when notified by the police. “Usually most expatriates would respect our Ramadan habits and would comply upon alerting them for the need to avoid eating and they accept that with a polite response most of the time,” he added. “Any policeman who behaves in an offending way to people would be taken to court.”

Authorities in Dubai earlier this month warned of strict penalties for those caught breaking cultural laws in Ramadan. Offenders can expect one warning before they risk arrest and a fine of up to AED2,000, said Colonel Jamal Al Jallaf, deputy director of the Criminal Investigation Department.

Hotel chains Jumeirah Group and Hilton Hotels & Resorts said last week they had issued etiquette guidelines to guests visiting their Dubai hotels during Ramadan.

(End of article)
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all my years in the Kingdom I never heard the expression "pantry". I suppose it must be an Indo-Pak expression.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12725
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot47,

I found quite a few (over 300,000) hits for "Ramadan food pantry for the needy" on Google.

A sample, for Raleigh, North Carolina:

"Ramadan Food Drive
The Social & Welfare Committee operates Food Pantry distributing food to the needy. The Food Pantry will be open every Saturday in Ramadan for food distribution. The success of this program relies heavily on food donations from the community."

http://www.raleighmasjid.org/

In some places, it's also called a "Food Bank."


But hey - whatever it's called, it's a good action.
Regards,
John
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