UAE: Hospital driver looks forward to breaking fast with 'work family' during Ramadan

Though Indian expat Ashraf Korambil Padhinepurayil misses his family back home in Kerala, he says he is grateful for his colleagues' company


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 18 Apr 2022, 8:12 PM

Hospital driver Ashraf Korambil Padhinepurayil always looks forward to the time of the day when he sits down with his colleagues and ends his fast as the call to prayer at a nearby mosque echoes all around.

Such a moment, however, doesn’t happen every day. “My job is to drop surgical instruments, doctors, and guests from one place or hospital to another...Sometimes, I have to go to far-off places or outside Dubai to Abu Dhabi,” said Ashraf, who works as transportation-in-charge at Burjeel Hospital, Dubai.

For the holy month of Ramadan, his duty begins at 6am and continues for six hours. “Whenever I go past my duty hours when driving long distances, I end my fast either in the car on the road or by the roadside,” he said.

Ashraf - who has lived in the UAE for the past 10 years - enjoys every moment of Ramadan, as for him, it’s a time of prayer and spirituality.

“But another thing that I really appreciate is that during Ramadan, I have Iftar together with my colleagues. Since some of us have been living and working together for years now, we have developed a good understanding. We enjoy each other’s company.”

Sometimes, he would cook at home and bring his Iftar meal with him. On days when he could end his fast at the hospital, he gets to enjoy free meals.

“But if I end my duty hours before Iftar, then I return to my accommodation.”

With Eid Al Fitr just around the corner, Ashraf is missing his family in the south Indian state of Kerala. Since he won’t be able to fly home for the occasion, he would certainly make time to be with them via video call.


“But I do have an extended work family here in the UAE. I am grateful to Allah for everything that I’ve received in my life. As the holy month is marked by intense prayer, I pray to Allah, from the bottom of my heart that by the next Ramadan, this pandemic would be completely over across the world.”

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