Ramadan in UAE: Pharmacist enjoys spiritual moments despite busy schedule

The Sudanese expat sticks to eating meals of high nutritional value even during her busiest work hours

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Tue 19 Apr 2022, 10:27 PM

Meet Sulafa Ahmed, a Sudanese expatriate based in Abu Dhabi. Despite her intense work schedule, Sulafa believes in eating a highly nutritious meal to break her fast during Iftar. The head pharmacist at the LLH Hospital has been a UAE resident for 33 years.

“I have been working in the hospital for nearly nine years,” she told Khaleej Times. Sulafa leads a hectic work schedule; however, she manages to balance her life and work and enjoys the spiritual moments of the holy month.

“A couple of years ago, I was ending fast at the pharmacy with my colleagues at all times. I would have a quick meal of fruits and water and head back to the pharmacy to attend to the needs of the patients,” she said.

Fortunately, fewer patients are at the hospital’s pharmacy during Iftar time. “It gets hectic after Iftar. My colleagues and I would attend to the patients’ needs, while some of us would eat our meals. We take turns ending fast,” she explained.

However, she says eating a balanced, nutritious meal consisting of fruits, dates, and rice helps keep her energy high. “When I end my fast, I eat simple meals like soup and some salads. Only after Taraweeh, I have a heavy meal,” said Sulafa.

A graduate from the Dubai Pharmacy College, Sulafa had hoped to enter the field of forensic sciences when she started her career. “During that time (2011), there were not that many colleges offering programmes in forensic sciences. However, things are different now, and I am glad I chose this career path,” she added.

At the moment, since Sulafa is the head of the department, her daily work schedule ends at 4pm. “Usually, the company provides meals, and these are very nutritional. Each day we would have a different menu,” she added.


Today, Sulafa makes it a point to end her fast with her parents and siblings. “Each country has its traditional foods. However, as a family, we keep Iftar very simple. We consume soups, salads, yoghurt etc. If we eat a heavy Iftar, we won’t be able to move after that,” she added.

She enjoys heavier meals such as the Quarasa (bread) with lady’s finger gravy. “We also have Mahshi (stuffed vegetables with rice and meat). This is usually consumed without any bread. The samosa is the star of Iftar. We also have the Aseeda (a savoury dish),” she added.

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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