Ramadan in UAE: 'Physical distancing cannot dampen the spirit of fasting'

Top Stories

Ramadan, UAE, Physical distancing, cannot, dampen, spirit of fasting

What everybody misses more is the Taraweeh prayers at the mosque.


Marie Nammour

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 26 Apr 2020, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 Apr 2020, 4:52 PM

The faith and fervour of prayer have been fortified for Lebanese expat Rabih Saab and the current pandemic has not dampened his Ramadan mood.
"The spirit with which we embrace the holy month and our deep and solid belief are still the same. It is only the physical engagement with others that is absent. I do miss the getting together for Iftars and Suhoors. We yearn for sharing favourite meals with our loved ones and friends," said the senior communication consultant, who has been in the UAE for 13 years.
What everybody misses more is the Taraweeh prayers at the mosque where they get to meet with other faithful, repenting and asking the Almighty for forgiveness, thinks Saab.
"We are praying at home during this unprecedented time. We have to stick to the official safety and health instructions of social distancing," said the father of a three-year-old son. "We miss how we used to greet others after the prayers and talk about mutual interesting topics."
The social distancing rule has not affected the belief of the Saab family and how they observe Ramadan. "This month is all about repentance and forgiveness. It is about the sincere return to Allah and showing it in one's deeds. It is about goodness and humanitarian and charity work."
"Fasting, praying and observing the other basic principles of Islam, like reaching out to the needy, are always there. And during this situation, we need to purge our souls by giving more and helping as much as we can anyone who is affected by the crisis," he added.
"We are grateful that the Taraweeh prayers are now broadcast live from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It instils a special feeling and helps us feel as if we are physically present in the mosque," he added.
In the past years, more time was spent at Iftar and Suhoor corporate buffets for clients of different nationalities. "It was sort of a social get together away from work to celebrate Ramadan," said Saab. "This year, everything is within our small family. We are concerned over our own safety and that of the others, especially the senior ones. We wish everyone good," said Saab.
Saab also makes sure to stay in contact with his parents back home and also with his brother in the UAE as well as close friends. "We are always in touch with our parents and relatives via social media and video call them whenever we have the chance. It has been a while since I have not visited Lebanon. We may be living far away from our parents but that does not mean they are not always in our thoughts and hearts."
He also thanked the UAE government for taking good care of the expats' well-being and making them feel at home amid this pandemic.

More news from