Ramadan in UAE: 'It was easier than I thought', says 7-year-old girl fasting for the first time

The youngster is eagerly looking forward to fasting for at least half the month



Mishelle (right) with her younger sister Maezah. Supplied photo
Mishelle (right) with her younger sister Maezah. Supplied photo
by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 24 Mar 2023, 9:27 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Mar 2023, 9:33 PM

For 7-year-old Mishelle, fasting was “much easier” than she thought. The Indian girl had her first experience observing a full fast during Ramadan and she's very proud of having completed it this year.

Although fasting isn’t compulsory for children, many of them join their parents and families to do so during the holy month of Ramadan.

To prepare for a day of fasting Mishelle had a filling meal of mutton pulao in the morning. “I wanted to make sure that she had a good proportion of proteins and carbs,” said Mishelle’s mother Mehnaz.

The first part of the day went very quickly for the little girl. “I went to school today,” she said.

“The time went by quite quickly. During break time all of us who were fasting went to another class. We played together and it was a lot of fun.”

However, according to Mishelle, time came to a halt when she returned at home from school. “Once I came home, I felt like the time wasn’t passing,” she said.

Dosa for iftar

For iftar, Mehnaz whipped up dosa (traditional South Indian rice crepe). “Due to dietary restrictions, Mishelle cannot consume wheat, nuts and milk products,” she said.

“So, I made dosa and kababs. She also requested lemonade.”

The youngster said she enjoyed the iftar with the family. “I am excited to tell my older cousins about how I fasted the whole day.”

Despite the latter half of the day being difficult, Mishelle said she is eagerly looking forward to fasting for at least half the month. “During the last few years, I have fasted for half days,” she said.

“This experience really helped me today. I want to fast tomorrow and then for some more days. Maybe I can fast for 15 days.”

Many young children have been taking advantage of the cooler weather and school holidays to observe their first fasts.

Now that Mishelle has completed her first fast, her little sister Maezah is all excited to try and fast. The 5-year-old said she was confident she could also fast. “I also like to fast,” she said.

“I will wake up for suhoor and fast just like her.”

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