My First Ramadan: 'I have seen people change this month'

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My First Ramadan: I have seen people change this month
Asuman Numba

Numba said the first time he visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for the mass Iftar, he was shocked by the sheer number of people there

by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 13 Jun 2017, 11:37 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Jun 2017, 1:40 AM

Three years ago, Asuman Numba came to the UAE to work for a safety and security company in Abu Dhabi. That was the first time he experienced Ramadan in the UAE and he was amazed at the excitement and fervor in the people of the UAE for the holy month. "I witnessed the true spirit of Ramadan here, and another thing I noticed was people's love for charity during the holy month," he said.
The 28-year-old Ugandan said although he found fasting a bit tough during his first days in the UAE in 2014 because of the heat as compared to the cool temperatures back home, the change in people's behaviours, shortening of the working hours and the way people spent their nights praying and being together amazed him.
"My first Ramadan here showed me that fasting in a Muslim country is a good thing because you feel the true spirit of Ramadan," said Numba.
"When Ramadan started, I noticed that many people around me were behaving unusually well. They would offer to help in everything including assistance at work, I saw people offering their five daily prayers regularly in the mosque and their increased love for charity."
He said to him seeing an environment where almost all people are devoted to Ramadan and doing good deeds was a new thing.
"The rush in the shopping malls, decoration lights on the streets and the many worshippers in the mosques were all new to me," he said. "Ramadan here is entirely for worshipping. Everything is well organised unlike back home where it's chaotic and difficult to tell you are in the holy month."
Numba said the first time he visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for the mass Iftar, he was shocked by the sheer number of people there.
"This was my first time I saw over 15,000 people gathered in one place for Iftar. I was so excited to end my fast with so many Muslims."
Although he is excited about observing fasting in the UAE, the Ugandan says he misses the African food he used to have with his family back home.
"I am missing out on the several iftar dishes, including matooke, cassava, sweet potatoes and beans that I used to have back home," said Numba.
He said that he also misses the joint Iftar meals with family and friends.
ismail@khaleejtimes.com



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