Enjoy our faster App experience

Ramadan through the eyes of a non-Muslim: Day 7

Ramadan through the eyes of a non-Muslim: Day 7

It would be good if people kept a bit of that spirit of community and spared a thought for the needy the rest of the year as well.



By Bernd Debusmann Jr./senior Reporter

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:19 PM

Photo by Shihab

Dubai, in normal times, is a very business-like place, one in which nothing is given for free and in which everyone is working for someone. But Ramadan brings out the charitable side of people here.

In other cities I’ve lived — Mexico, London, New York, Washington or Amsterdam — there are very loud, and very public calls to help less fortunate sectors of society, in the form of volunteering drives, commercials, billboards or PR campaigns. While there are certainly organisations in the UAE that are doing very commendable charitable work all year round but they do it so quietly, at least that’s the way I see it.

Ramadan, however, is a time of giving, and it’s impossible not to notice. It’s very nice, as an outsider, to see that suddenly so much thought is being given to cab drivers and labourers, who often seem to be a neglected and ignored segment of society, despite their hard work. The Hilton in the Dubai Marina area, for example, is one of several hotels and organisations that is distributing Iftar boxes to cab drivers, while still others are providing donations to labourers across the UAE. Individually, thousands of people have donated time or money for a variety of good causes this Ramadan.

This, obviously, is a very good thing. But, as a foreign expat who has now lived here for about six months, it seems that for many people this spirit of giving is Ramadan-specific. Where is people’s concern for the labourers and the cab drivers the rest of the year? Ramadan marks the first time I hear people talking about doing something for the less fortunate since I arrived in Dubai. Frankly, many people — expats and locals alike — don’t usually acknowledge them.

While I’ve seen it explained that charity during Ramadan is the best charity, I can’t help but think it would be good if people kept a bit of that spirit of community and spared a thought for the needy the rest of the year as well. -bernd@khaleejtimes.com


More news from
UAE highlights national vision at World Economic Forum

Business

UAE highlights national vision at World Economic Forum

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of UAE Council of Scientists, stressed the UAE government’s keenness to strengthen partnerships and constructive global cooperation in the field of scientific research, because of its positive implications for societies

Business4 hours ago