Browsing 'eid al-fitr' News

Ramdan in middle east_Qatar

The Holy month of Ramadan is about to get underway and Qatar, as well as the entire Middle East region, is high on excitement. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting. Muslims are required to refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking and sexual relations. In some interpretations, swearing is forbidden. Eid al Fitr marks the End of Ramadan.

Ramadan 2018 will start on Wednesday, May 16, and will end on Thursday, June 14. The non-Muslim expat community will find it quite a stretch and will need to remember important dos and don’ts. Non-Muslims, young children, the sick, people with mental health illnesses, travellers, the elderly and women who are menstruating, pregnant, breast-feeding or have recently given birth, do not have to fast.

Since Ramadan is just a little over two weeks away, the routines in Qatar will change drastically. From beautiful decorations to Iftar feasts and lesser working hours, Ramadan is taken quite religiously here. Muslims are expected to follow the creeds of Ramadan, both in public and private spaces. They keep their thoughts and actions pure and use the month-long period for spiritual reflection. They rein in unwanted sentiments, such as anger, greed, envy, lust. Gossiping is considered unhealthy. They also mull over their spiritual beliefs, and strengthen their devotion by reciting the Holy Quran during the day.

More than any other time, the month of Ramadan can be challenging for the expat population.

Expats, take note

Ramadan for expats in Qatar

If you are planning to relocate to Qatar during the month of Ramadan, quash it. Government agencies and authorities are largely preoccupied with celebrations and are generally slow-moving in performing their duties. Offices close early and those at work are unusually not focused. Shops shut down before time and streets are generally deserted during daytime. These can be nerve-racking and you will find yourself with little direction and help that is normally available. It is better to relocate well before or after Ramadan.

You must accept invitations for an Iftar from observing locals. Bring dates and gifts. It strengthens the bond and sends a respectful message. Introduce yourself to your neighbours and visit Qatari families and friends and embrace the community spirit. Hug more and more to build affinity.

Even if you are a non-Muslim, it is impolite to eat, drink or smoke in public during the hours of daylight. If you can, try and participate in charitable activities and volunteer services.

You might want to leave Qatar for sometime during this time not just because of the punishing heat, but also because you don’t feel obliged to observe the rituals and be a part of it. Don’t. This is your chance to show that you appreciate their culture and are keen to celebrate with them. It’s a sign of friendliness.

Dress appropriately and do not play loud music. It’s considered intrusive and disturbing to those who are fasting. Be modest and patient.

You will do well to steer clear of debates, arguments and fights since Ramadan is a time of peace and tranquility. Remember, you are not a natural in Qatar. You are seeking acceptance, and it comes only if you adhere to ground rules and show that you care. Play by the culture. Don’t go on kissing or cuddling your partner of the opposite sex in public. It’s especially offensive during the Holy month.

Try fasting yourself. It has health benefits, cleanses the soul, helps you understand your body better and helps you with self-control. Of course, in a way, it also makes you one of their own.

 

All photos courtesy of QTA

Air conditioned malls around Qatar have been filling up with visitors this week as Eid festivities continue for a third day today.

Many shopping centers are participating in the Qatar Summer Festival, and will be holding promotions and entertainment events through July.

Though there are no Saudis in the malls this week, many Kuwaitis and Omanis have flown to Qatar to show their support for the blockaded country.

QTA

Eid Al Fitr 2017

According to the Qatar Tribune, many visitors from these countries had been given various discounts to encourage them to come to Qatar.

Entertainment

Malls participating in the QSF include Doha Festival City, The Mall, Al Khor Mall, Gulf Mall, Mall of Qatar, Lagoona Mall and Landmark Mall.

Today, Doha Festival City will kick off a “special event” at 4:30pm that includes a mall parade, an African Drummer’s performance, an Ardha dance and an Ice Age Show.

QTA

Shopping Festival 2017 – Mall times

The evening will end with a concert at 9pm by Qatari singer Saoud Jassim.

For more information on what’s going on around town this week, see our Eid guide here.

Thoughts?

Photos courtesy of QNA, Katara, Nashira Usef and Lagoona Mall

Qatar residents turned out in droves to masjids, malls and other hotspots around the country to celebrate the first day of Eid Al Fitr.

Many spent time with friends and family, as well as went out to eat after a month of refraining from food during the daylight hours.

At Katara Cultural Village, thousands of people attended live entertainment shows and checked out the first in a series of daily fireworks shows this week.

Entertainment was in full swing over at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, Asian Town and several malls, including Lagoona:

For a full list of what’s going on around town, check out our Eid guide here.

How is your holiday going? Thoughts?