With the month of fasting and spiritual reflection upon us, it is time to reaffirm the bonds of communities

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Published: Mon 27 Mar 2023, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Mar 2023, 10:56 AM

This week, Muslims across the globe will begin the holy month of Ramadan, a period of daytime fasting and gatherings with family and friends. It is a time of spiritual reflection and for reaffirming the bonds that connect communities. It also is an important time for charity and extending a hand to those in need. By not eating or drinking from daybreak until sunset, those fasting experience a special empathy for those who suffer hunger, thirst, and other deprivations all year long.

Ramadan is the most important month of the year for Muslim families and communities and marks the time when the first revelations of the Quran were made to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Reflecting GE’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we mark Ramadan alongside our Muslim colleagues in four ways. First, our year-round engagement with the communities in which we operate gets a special boost. GE Volunteers organise and participate in a range of events and activities, from packing care packages for workers to taking underprivileged children shopping for Eid clothing. Secondly, we join colleagues and customers for Iftar gatherings, the meal at sunset that breaks the daily fast. By coming together at these meals, we have an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and connect outside the office.

Third, we observe shortened working hours in many majority Muslim countries out of respect for those fasting and in acknowledgement of the difficulty that comes from not eating or drinking during the day. Fourthly, we communicate with our GE peers globally to raise awareness of the significance and importance of this special month and the Ramadan fast as one of the five pillars of faith in Islam.

The organisation invites you over the next 30 days to notice those in your workplace, neighbourhood or other settings who may be fasting. If they are colleagues, offer them the greeting, ‘Ramadan Kareem’ (which translates to ‘may your Ramadan be full of goodness’) or ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ (‘may your Ramadan be blessed”). And during the holiday marking the end of the 30-day fasting period, ‘wish them ‘Eid Mubarak’ ('may your holiday be blessed’).

By marking this moment, we at GE live our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion – recognising we are stronger as an organisation and deliver better for our customers because of our diverse workforce and inclusive culture. To all those celebrating during this special month, Ramadan Kareem.

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