Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Ramadan is fast approaching, which is a period of about a month when Muslims fast during daylight hours, and will not even drink water. It also means that all restaurants in the country will be closed during the day, and alcohol will not be sold anywhere. Even the hotels close down their bars during Ramadan.

Since moving to Qatar a little over four years ago I have made an effort to learn or experience some aspects of Qatari culture -- going to prayers at a mosque, learning Arabic, reading the Qur’an and Hadiths, smoking shisha (okay, I'm kidding about the last one). I figure since Ramadan is approaching I will try out another tradition this year.


Since it is something that Muslims do every year for an entire month I figure why not give it a try and see how challenging it is. I will admit a few other factors have also influenced my decision:

• I'm trying to lose weight, hopefully this will help

• I will only be doing it for about two weeks rather than a month. I'm going back to Canada at the end of August so I will end the fast when I leave

• I do not live far from the office so I do not have to worry about driving home after work feeling tired and dizzy from not eating all day.

Ramadan is a little more than a week away so I do not have a lot of time to prepare. I will talk to my Muslim colleagues in the office to see what is the best way to approach this and how traditionally they start and stop the fast every day. I think the biggest challenge for me will be not having any water, or coffee for that matter. I think I'd better start weaning myself off the caffeine now so I do not end up with a big headache the first day of the fast.

And of course I'll blog about the preparations and my experience with fasting so that you can learn about it as well. Maybe I will also try to find out more about other aspects of Ramadan and how it works in Qatar.

No comments: