For some in Dubai, Ramadan is a daily sacrifice


 For some in Dubai, Ramadan is a daily sacrifice

Dubai - While working hours are slashed for Ramadan, there are some sectors where employees continue to work for 12 hours during the holy month.

By Sana Altaf

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Published: Mon 22 May 2017, 2:48 PM

It is five minutes to Iftar. H.A does not have time to sit down and break her fast. When the time for Iftar strikes, she quickly grabs some chocolate dates from her pocket. She follows with some water before rushing to the ladies prayer hall to check if things are going fine.
"I hardly get time to sit down and eat at Iftar. I have to be on my toes all day," says 25-year-old H.A.
"I did not come here because of financial issues. I always dreamt of living abroad and live independently which made me come here."   
Having heard the success stories of people here, she had thought of getting a good job with decent salary. Her family wanted to get her married, yet she resisted.
While she was unable to get through her desired job, she now works 12 hours a day from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. Even during Ramadan her timings have remained unchanged.
"It is really tiring to keep moving around for 12 long hours while fasting. By the time I am home, I am exhausted enough to even eat properly," said H.A who earns hardly Dh1700 a month.
" If I do not get any good job in the next two months, I shall return to Pakistan," she said adding that her parents are unaware of the kind of job she does.
As M.R drives his way through the busy streets of Dubai, he frequently rubs his eye. He sprinkles water on his face repeatedly to keep himself awake and concentrated on driving.
" I woke up at 3 am for sahoor and haven't slept since. I feel really exhausted," M.R, a taxi driver in Dubai, told Khaleej Times
"It is very difficult to work so long this time. It is hot and we cannot drink a drop of water. I get dizzy after few hours of work."
Though he wishes to settle in his home town, his family responsibilities get in his way.   
"I have to educate my two sons. If I don't send them money, their education will suffer. Besides I have to bear the cost of treatment of my disabled sister. My parents are also my responsibility."
27-year-old U.M eats his sahoor while on duty. He works in night shift as a security guard in a  residential building. He goes home only after completing his 12 working hours.
"I start my work at 6pm and work till 6am. It is exhausting during Ramadan. Besides, it gets difficult to spare time for prayers, particularly the tarawee prayer," said U.M from Bangladesh.
 While working hours are slashed for Ramadan, there are some sectors where employees continue to work for 12 hours during the holy month.
U.M who passed his class 12th, left home to support his parents and two sisters.
"I wanted to study but my family responsibilities compelled me to quit and come here to earn."
"Due to the long working hours, I am not able to make the best of this month. Sometimes I am tired enough even to wake up for sahoor or pray," said K.G who works as a cleaner, earning hardly more than Dh1000 per month.
He says though he gets home by 6:30 am, he is too tired to cook for himself.
"I do not want to continue with this job. I want something better. The salary is too less for me to fulfill all my expenses."

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