Ramadan 2021

Ramadan 2021: Indian expat appreciative of facilities offered in UAE during holy month

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on April 17, 2021
Supplied photo

Mohammed Muhsin Muhsin is appreciative of facilities in the UAE during holy month

Indian expat Mohammed Muhsin who arrived in the UAE around a year back has fond memories of Ramadan back home in normal times.

The aroma and taste of dishes made by his mother and wife, and the delicious ‘nombu kanji’ (rice porridge) savoured during the college years spent away from home – the iftars and suhoors are filled with nostalgia for this Covid-19 PCR lab technologist working in Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Medical City.

“I am here for just over a year. I came here just before the pandemic started. I assess nasal swabs,” said the 33-year-old Keralite.

Even though he feels homesick, Muhsin is highly appreciative of the facilities offered in the UAE during the holy month.

“I did reflect on being here away from home. I do miss my family but then I find here more facilities, amenities and time to pray and for devotion. Shift timings have been mostly reduced to 6 hours. Many fasting staff have been allotted morning shifts, while a few are in evening and night shifts. The hospital provides us with a food kit during iftar and suhoor. We can take a break and have food. We get time to perform rituals as there is a prayer room. Other staff are very cooperative as we take a break during working hours. Back in Kerala, it’s difficult to have any adjustment made to our duty timings.”

Recollecting iftars in his native place of Malappuram district, he said: “My mother and wife are both busy during Ramadan. They make all arrangements to break the fast for me and father. A normal iftar includes dates, fruits, lemon juice, cutlet, samosa and ulli vada (onion fritters). And after the prayers, we will have pathiri (famous Malabar rice pancake) with chicken or beef curry. Pathiri is something I miss the most. All snacks and dishes are home-made. Even though you get the same food items here, nothing can replace home-cooked delicacies.”

Muhsin pointed out that he still misses the taste of ‘nombu kanji’, which he used to have during Ramadan as a student at Thiruvananthapuram’s Government Medical College.

“It is available at a mosque in the college area. There are lots of ingredients added to it like spices, herbs, vegetable pieces. It is very nutritious, healthy and boosts energy, and you don’t need any other food. I still miss it.”

Muhsin is now waiting for the pandemic situation to end so that he can bring his family here. “I have a three-year-old son Zayn Mohammed and wife Fathima Shahana. I long to bring them here, but my current job needs my full focus and dedication. I want this pandemic to get over so that I can rejoin with my family,” Muhsin added.

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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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