From Kuwait to Dubai, Ramadan remains beautiful
The famous Arabic Ramadan dessert, Qatayef, was regularly exchanged between her family and the neighbours.
Dubai - "Ramadan was fun and had a different flavour in Kuwait. Maybe because we were young and had the energy to play and hangout with family members and do something different every day."
The first Ramadan Enam Abu Omar, 52, remembers was with her family in Kuwait, in the 1970s.
"We used to stay up all night long with our neighboUrs. Different groups of girls would gather to spend time and make delicacies. We would drink Pepsi because it was quite a thing back then, and enjoy the cold weather," laughed Abu Omar, who is originally from Jordan.
She started fasting at nine or ten years of age. "I don't really recall when exactly I started, but I was not too young. Everyone around me were fasting so it made sense that I do, too.
"Ramadan was fun and had a different flavour in Kuwait. Maybe because we were young and had the energy to play and hangout with family members and do something different every day."
The famous Arabic Ramadan dessert, Qatayef, was regularly exchanged between her family and the neighbours. The whole group would gather around the TV after performing Taraweeh, or the night prayers, and watch Ramadan TV series.
Enam moved to the UAE when she got married 30 years ago. "My husband is born in Dubai, so I made the move and it has been a great experience," she said.
Now the mother of two daughters and a son, Ramadan still holds the same meanings for her. "We are a big family, so each of us prepares meals and gather at our grandfather's place," said Enam, who resides in Sharjah's Sharqan area. The uncles, aunts and children gather every day during Ramadan at Iftar time, along with her newlywed daughters and their spouses.
Like her, her children learned to fast around the age of nine. Ramadan for the big family is about gathering together for Iftar time, praying the Maghreb then Taraweeh together, and staying up all night until Suhoor.
"Ramadan has always had its own flavour. With all its challenges, it remains beautiful. Its spiritual ambience and family gatherings make it worthwhile. It is a month that we spend the rest of the year remembering," said Abu Omar.