Ramadan 2022 in UAE: Meet the bicycle mechanic who fasts in sweltering heat

The Bangladeshi expat spends long hours in the sun on the pavement outside his small repair shop in Al Quoz


Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 2:44 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 2:50 PM

Getting through a month of fasting is tough, more so if you have a physically strenuous outdoor job. Ask bicycle mechanic Najmul Hussain.

The Bangladeshi expat spends long hours in the sun, fixing punctured tyres, servicing bicycles, and replacing or repairing broken, worn-out parts outside his modest shop in Al Quoz.

“There’s hardly any space in the shop, which is stacked with bicycles and related equipment. As a result, I have to do all the repair work on the pavement outside our premises,” he says.

Working in the sweltering heat all day builds up a lot of sweat, causing Hussain to lose water - something he can ill afford while fasting.

However, the 34-year-old has no complaints.

“Ramadan is not an obstacle to what I do. Yes, my job is difficult, and I often end up feeling incredibly thirsty and drained out by late afternoon, but if you fast for eight to 10 hours, then you are motivated to endure a few more hours until sunset,” he adds.

Hussain says he avoids checking the time and distracts his mind from thoughts of food and water by focusing on his work.

“I have customers of all ages, including little children who are often impatient and want everything in a jiffy. They keep me on my toes. I attend to them with a smile and ensure they go back happy.”

Hussain says fasting has taught him patience and strengthened his willpower.

“The challenges I face during Ramadan help me tide over other my problems all year round,” he says.


Just before sunset, Hussain clears the clutter at his makeshift workplace, spreads out a plastic sheet on the ground and breaks his fast with his co-workers.

The Iftar comprises dates, fruits and snacks bought from a nearby cafeteria.

“I don’t have the luxury to have Iftar in my room as we have to immediately resume work and attend to customers visiting our shop post-Iftar,” he says.

- mazhar@khaleejtimes.com

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