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Ramadan 2020

Ramadan diaries: Let us remain devoted to Islam while enjoying family time, says Dubai expat Filed on May 20, 2020 | Last updated on May 20, 2020 at 11.42 pm
Ramadan diaries, devoted, Islam, enjoying, family time, Dubai expat

(Suuplied photo)

The Bullock family has set up the living room in their house so that everyone can pray together.

Gone are the days of large Iftar feasts among family and friends and congregational prayers at mosques - at least for this year's Ramadan.

However, for this Dubai Egyptian resident, even though people are no longer able to hold prayers at the mosque or visit friends and relatives, that does not mean the holy month can't be celebrated spiritually.

Amro Bullock, director of human resources at Bin Zayed Group, prefers to adapt to the Covid-19-triggered situation rather than dwelling on the traditions and past memories of how Ramadan used to be.

"It is a priceless feeling to wait for Maghreb Azan and then to share the joy of breaking fast together with loved ones. There is also a special ambiance about the Taraweeh prayers," the expat said.

"We truly miss prayers with other faithful at the mosque. To witness the display of worship by a crowd, to see the mosque light up and then to come across familiar faces mean a lot to us. These beautiful age-old traditions will never fade away."

The lack of distractions, however, could mean a greater commitment to our religious duties, Bullock thinks.

"We can practise more self-discipline and reflect on our priorities now that we are confined to our houses. It is a particular month and all people wait the whole year for it to reconnect with their spiritual side," he said.

"I see it now as an opportunity to immerse ourselves in praying, fasting, recitation of the holy Quran, and have empathy for the needy."

The Bullock family has set up the living room in their house so that everyone can pray together.

"Dohr and Maghreb prayers are now held at the house where we all come together for the daily religious rituals. As long as we remain devoted in our heart and our daily life, no matter what the situation is, then the Ramadan spirit lives on," he said.

Bullock deeply believes that people should not let difficult circumstances stop them from enjoying the special time with their families and children.

"We can focus on the spiritual side and become better Muslims. The Ramadan under Covid-19 will be the best of many in a long time."

Every Friday, he added, his family tries to spend some time on a group activity at home like playing cards or baking.

"Staying home on Fridays is fun. Friday is still special because we make it special. We dedicate it to prayers and fun house activities. We would often call our family back home or here right after Iftar to check on them or for a simple chit-chat. My son called his friend once and they broke their fast together." 


Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit university of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, she worked as an in-house reporter of international affairs at a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for a renowned law college in the Lebanese capital. Speaks fluently four languages and is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more and grown by now a rich ‘criminal’ imagination…

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These prayer timings are for Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. For Abu Dhabi, add four minutes. Deduct four minutes for Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, and six minutes for Fujairah.

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