Ramadan diaries: Let's be thankful and count our blessings

covid-19, coronavirus, ramadan, uae, dubai, Bassi Hamid, iftar, celebrations

Dubai - Like all other Muslims around the world, the Hamid family misses the Taraweeh and other congregational prayers at the mosque.


Marie Nammour

Published: Mon 18 May 2020, 8:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 19 May 2020, 8:52 AM

The "overall Ramadan vibe" may be missing this year, but for this Dubai-based Egyptian expat, there's still a way to live life to the fullest and make the most of the holy month. 
"Instead of dwelling on the memories of how I used to spend the holy month, I am accepting my new life, living the present to the fullest and enjoying it in the best possible way," said Bassi Hamid, a professional lifestyle, family and brand photographer
Bassi believes in the power of adaptation. "It did not take me long before realising how vital it is for my family's sake to adapt to the new norms of living. Staying home is the basic routine that we have now been used to," she said.
"Since it is an emergency situation, it calls for us to have different daily routines that would help us be more grounded and get a grip on the reality around us. I have managed to find alternatives of outings in my own home where I now enjoy spending my time."
Bassi's parents moved from Egypt to Dubai in 1991. "My parents moved to settle here and this beautiful city has been our home ever since," she told Khaleej Times.
Like all other Muslims around the world, the Hamid family misses the Taraweeh and other congregational prayers at the mosque.
"We also yearn for the Iftar picnics by the beach and the big Iftar gatherings with family and friends," said Bassi.
They have had Iftar with close family members only a couple of times, she said.
"But that was it. We believe that the more everybody sticks to the social distancing rule, the faster we can overcome the crisis."
Virtual birthday celebration
On Sunday, which happened to be Bassi's birthday, she celebrated virtually - for the first time.
"After Iftar, I blew the candles and celebrated my special day with my family online," she said joyfully.
Despite the huge impact the Covid-19 has had on people's lives, it has allowed everyone to reconnect with themselves and their loved ones, Bassi said.
"We are now spending more quality time with those who matter to us the most. In the process, we are reflecting on what would be our next move when the crisis gets beyond us. Now, we know better how to invest our time and energy and with whom," she added.
"Patience and faith are what we all need in this unprecedented situation. We should be grateful for every new day and count the blessings we have instead of the temporary losses caused by the coronavirus. I am sure we will emerge stronger out of this ordeal and more at peace with our own lives."
Keeping a safe distance does not mean completely staying away from one's family and loved ones, she said.
"The Internet is one of the huge blessings. One of my family's new routines is the fixed daily and weekly video calls over Zoom with our close circle of family members and friends. It has a great positive effect on our life and it keeps both sides going during these hard times."
Bassi also donates to specific cases that are known to people close to her. "I reach out to those in need here in the UAE or back in my home country."

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