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25 September, 2006

The Infidel Curtain of Haram Shame

Every Ramadan, as well as beautiful iftar tents, drabber curtains, blinds and screens pop up all over the sandlands.

What lurks behind them? Generally expat infidels, munching away during daylight hours in the few cafes and restaurants that remain open.

The curtains give a strange frisson of excitement and even guilt to what would otherwise be a regular workday lunch. They're also practical: in a world where people spend their days at work, outside the home, there needs to be somewhere discreet to eat. And not just for non-muslims, but for the many muslims who are exempt from fasting through age, health and so forth.

One Ramadan a colleague had to attend a couple of business meetings on Sheikh Zayed road. He needed to get lunch in between, and there was no time to drive all the way back to Media City or to his home. The problem was that every nearby cafe was take-away only until iftar. This meant that the only places he could eat were in his car (which is risky), or inside the cubicle of a public lavatory. He chose the former, and put up his sunshield, and kind of hunched over in his seat so no one could see him.

It was a stupid situation. The cafes in question had blinds and shutters available: they should have actively been encouraging people to dine in, rather than eating takeaways in their offices in front of muslim colleagues. This is why the Infidel Curtain of Haram Shame is so critical. Because it means everybody's needs are met: the hungry can eat, and fasters can avoid their eating. And a pregnant lady or diabetic man doesn't have to furtively picnic in a carpark, hoping they won't be arrested.

Labels: ,

64 Comments:

Blogger Prometheus said...

Prometheus, having gone without a bite to eat or a sip to drink for nearly 17 hours, spied a gas station selling food and water. He ducked in and bought a bottle of water first. Since he is devoid of an automobile, he was told to duck into a recess by the wash basin to glug the drink. He wondered if he'd have to actually eat in the loo if he had bought the Haagen Dazs that he was leering at.

26 September, 2006 01:51  
Blogger AUH said...

My memories of Ramadan as a much younger AUH were hiding in the backseat of the car trying to cram the food in my mouth before someone saw me.

actually wait, i still do that.

but you make a good point, everyones needs should be taken into account during this time

26 September, 2006 02:50  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Yeah - as I see it (as someone who is fasting for the third Ramdan, depsite not being Muslim) it's the fasters who are supposed to be modifying their behaviour and undergoing a form of struggle/suffering. Like a muslim colleague said to me when I first came here, if it's made a little bit harder by watching someone eat a sandwich, then the effort to fast is worth more.

Obviously waving a kebab under someone's nose is inappropriate. But it's even more inappropriate to make other people hide away through fear of arrest if they eat. (Is there any actual qu'ranic prohition on public eating by the sick/elderly/weak etc?)

I think it should be about self-regulation. People should avoid eating in front of fasters out of compassion/moral support/politeness. But they should not face arrest if they have no choice but to do so.

Also: when you fast, people eating and drinking in front of you has very little effect (at least for me). It's not like when you go on a diet and you feel like you can never eat chocolate again, and the sight of food is just hellish. With day-fasting, you know that you can eat as soon as it's iftar, and if the sight and smell of someone's lunchtime food makes your stomach rumble a little bit more, then you just look forward to iftar all the more.

So I really don't buy a lot of this thou-shalt-not-eat-in-public stuff. I think it's posturing and unreasonable to force others to hide away. Someone mentioned that fasting is supposed to be partly about experiencing what the poor suffer. It's not supposed to be made as easy as possible.

26 September, 2006 03:12  
Blogger marwan said...

When every developer is obsessed with building penis-substitute monoliths, is anyone surprised about the lack of self restraint?

Having said that, I'm pretty surprised by your reports, SD. In generally grim Bur Dubai, no one chucks a billy club at you if your face is full of schwarma. We'll still offer a hot cuppa to anyone who walks into our shop.

So to hear of people sneaking bites, dreading that someone will bash the window in and drag them out for a summary beating, seems a tad odd.

Granted, I haven't been in Dubai for about four years worth of Ramadans, but I've never seen the jackboot nazi fasters you describe.

26 September, 2006 05:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully someone does something fast, our hungry expats are soon going to threaten our economy once they leave...we need to do something to make them happy...feed them feed them...its one month for heavens sake...
Cut the drama SD

26 September, 2006 06:14  
Anonymous Sam Lunatik said...

I have had trouble once when I was on the way to the airport. Just had a sip of water from a bottle and the next moment a Paki driver from a car nearby was cursing with his hands and legs in the air - yeah... the Evil Spirit of Ramadan.
But I do have local colleagues who walk into my office when I'm eating or drinking and have no problem.... Spirit of Ramadan..

26 September, 2006 08:09  
Anonymous Sam Lunatik said...

From your No.1 favourite Newspaper

Several outlets serving food during fasting hours
(COMPLAINTS CORNER)


26 September 2006

MANY cafeterias and restaurants in Dubai continued to serve food items during the hours of fasting at their outlets in violation of the law, Mohammed Roshan, a resident of Dubai complained to the Khaleej Times Hotline.

"Even after Ramadan started many of the restaurants on Shaikh Zayed Road continued to function as usual. I do not know how they can do it without having any consideration for the hundreds of thousands who are fasting." "Cafeterias and restaurants' owners should not serve food in their premises. It is not just a violation of law but it is a matter of respect for all those who are fasting," he said.

"With many outlets so openly serving food when they should be closed to the public during fasting hours, the officials should intensify their inspection efforts to curb these malpractices," he added.

Reply
SPEAKING to Khaleej Times, Muhammed Hilal Al Muroushdi, Director of Compliance Department, Dubai, said: "No restaurants and cafeterias are allowed to serve food in their premises in the day time during the holy month of Ramadan. The errant outlets will face fines and penalties."

"During the holy month of Ramadan, it is a mark of respect to the faith and belief of those fasting that others do not eat and drink in public. However, taking into consideration the cosmopolitan culture of Dubai, many coffee shops and eateries have been issued temporary licences to deliver food. Customers can pick up food from these places but are not expected to sit and eat at the outlet. Outlets flouting the regulation will be subject to fines ranging from Dh1,000 to Dh 2,000," he added.

Those eateries that do not have a licence for home delivery but need to prepare food for Iftar are permitted to open the outlet but they must not be delivering food. By not abiding with the regulations, these outlets can be fined from Dh2,000 to Dh4,000," he said.

26 September, 2006 08:23  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Also from the Khaleej Times:

MANY shops and businesses in London continued to withold presents during the days of Christmas at their outlets in violation of the law, John Smith, a resident of Baron’s Court complained to the Khaleej Times Hotline.

“Even after Christmas Eve many of the Iranian and Turkish shops around Leicester Square continued to function as usual. I do not know how they can do it without having any consideration for the hundreds of thousands who are at home enjoying their presents.” “Shops and business’ owners should give presents from their premises. It is not just a violation of law but it is a matter of respect for all those who are celebrating Christmas,” he said.

“With many outlets so openly being mean when they should be giving presents to the public during the Christmas period, the officials should intensify their inspection efforts to curb these malpractices,” he added.

SPEAKING to Khaleej Times, Tony Taylor, Director of Compliance Department, London West, said: “No shops and businesses are allowed to hoard presents on their premises during the Christmas period. The errant outlets will face fines and penalties.”

“During the Christmas period, it is a mark of respect to the faith and belief of those celebrating that others do not refuse to give presents. However, taking into consideration the cosmopolitan culture of London, many shops and businesses have been issued temporary licences to be exempt from the obligation to deliver presents. The public can pick up presents from these places but are not expected to open them on the premises. Outlets flouting the regulation will be subject to fines ranging from £1,000 to £2,000,” he added. Those shops that do not have a licence for witholding presents but need to prepare presents for Christmas Day are permitted to open the outlet but they must not be refusing presents to whomever wants one. By not abiding with the regulations, these outlets can be fined from £2,000 to £4,000,” he said.

26 September, 2006 09:21  
Blogger OS said...

Excellent point, SD. Frankly, I find this quite ridiculous that people are not allowed to eat anywhere except in the privacy of their homes. Pantries and kitchens in most offices are closed during Ramadan and eating at desks is a definite no-no. Where exactly, then, are non-fasters (most of whom are in offices or out on the road) supposed to eat? Being able to eat behind the blinds at every restaurant sounds like the perfect solution to me. I wonder why the authorities haven't given this any consideration.

I must agree with some of the posters here, though, that the general culture of excess here has weakened people's self-control. Thankfully, I am having no such issues...the smell of three cups of coffee at neighbouring desks is wafting under my nostrils right as I type this! My co-workers were nice enough to ask if it bothered me :)

26 September, 2006 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it is a mark of respect to the faith and belief of those fasting that others do not eat and drink in public"

Does that not sound just a little bit stupid to anyone? Am I really not allowed to drink water in my car during the day?

Next thing you know we will not be allowed to look at pictures of ladies bottoms, chat with our friends on-line or share videos with family at home.

This place may have progressed from stone-age to medieval times quite quickly but, please, hurry it along to the 21st Century.

26 September, 2006 10:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, why not enforce these religous regulations concerning what time you can eat and drink and completely forget about the laws regarding the use of the hard shoulder, rent increase cap, prostitution etc.

No, sod it, you just do whatever suits you at that time. After all, it is your country and we are just guests here.

26 September, 2006 10:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, pure exaggeration on your part. You are trying to give an impression that every one is forced into fasting here in Dubai. This is absolutely ridiculous.

26 September, 2006 11:22  
Anonymous SP said...

I'm amazed that people aren't allowed to eat in restaurants - I mean, aren't restaurants the one place that are explicitly food-oriented in the daytime in Ramadan? What do people THINK is going on inside them if not the sale and consumption of food?

Imposed religious morality is always charming, and probably the last refuge of those who are feeling a bit insecure about their faith. It's not so bad in Cairo, even though there's probably a higher proportion of Muslims/fasters here than in Dubai - there are some restaurants open and you can choose eat-in or takeaway, and people generally show respect to those fasting by not chomping in their faces.

You'll often see women, even headscarf-wearing ones, in restaurants in the daytime, it's sort of like announcing to the world that you're on your period. But by and large people do not give you grief, especially if you look khawaga.

26 September, 2006 11:32  
Blogger Harsha said...

what about prisoners?

Do they get food during fasting hours?

26 September, 2006 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sick, elderly, pregnant and anyone else with a ligitamate reson can eat/drink in public.... its more out of respect that people should refrain from doing so.

26 September, 2006 12:28  
Blogger Proud Emirati said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 September, 2006 12:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not eating in public is a matter of politness no more and no less.

It shouldnt be forced like sending the offenders to jail (I dont think that applied anyway)

but people should be educated about it

SD, eldery, sick and weak dont have to fast during ramadan according to the Quran

Actually there is no verse in the Quran about forcing non muslims not to eat in public.

It is only about respect but respect cannot be forced.

26 September, 2006 12:38  
Blogger Proud Emirati said...

^^ that was me

26 September, 2006 12:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is respect forced? why can't anyone choose whether they want to eat or not?

I thought there was no compulsion in Islam? So why are we being forced to follow this?

And since we are talking about respect, Can all you pro "everybody should not eat in public out of respect" show some respect to the hindus here and not eat beef?

- Manish

26 September, 2006 12:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, proud emirati.

Now, when you practice what you said, you will find me appreciating it and respecting your culture and religion a lot more.

- Manish

26 September, 2006 12:57  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

@Harsha

All prisoners, muslim or not are awoken in the morning and thats there only chance to eat until iftar at dusk.

That said, I always wondered about construction workers. If they're not muslim, are they forced to toil in the hot sun without water or food? And if they are muslim, are they forced to work in the hot sun when they are fasting. My guess would be yes, they are.

26 September, 2006 14:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of the restaurants are violating the law in dubai regarding opening during the fasting time in ramadan , As a matter of fact , they have paid 8000 dhs for that temporary license to the municipality

26 September, 2006 14:51  
Anonymous unJane said...

Nice post, Tim. I see the change of climate has not dulled your wit though it's a shame it will be lost on those who need it most.

26 September, 2006 14:54  
Anonymous Sam Lunatik said...

We do respect that a non muslim should not eat in public. (Waving kababs under someone's nose... LoL) But along with the exempted categories like sick, pregnant etc, the following too should be added:
a) Restaurants where food is served indoors.
b) All outdoor workers inlcuding constuction, gardeners.
c)Travellers by bus, car etc.
d)Anyone drinking water,
e)Children, teenagers.
f)Women.
g)Anyone involved in physical labour.

Should also consider shifting Ramadan to the cooler months.

That was a good one Tim..

DO NOT FORCE RESPECT

26 September, 2006 15:02  
Blogger Kiwi Boy said...

I don't really see the point of banning eating/drinking/smoking outdoors during the hours of the fast in Ramadan. If the faster's faith is strong, why must he/she care if others around him/her is eating or drinking at all? This rule implies that all or most of the fasters have very weak will power and can't control themselves if they see a person eating or drinking or smoking while they are fasting.

26 September, 2006 15:47  
Blogger Prometheus said...

Prometheus will have SD know that the Holy Quran does exempt the weak, pregnant and elderly from fasting and does not enforce fasting on non-Muslims. Prometheus, however, is hardpressed to think how the authorities can allow for such exemption in the rules. How would one identify a non-Muslim? Also, an overweight person, who could anyways use a fast, may be diabetic and may therefore need to eat. Should he tape his diabetic status to his forehead? And what about those without cars? Where can they stuff their mouths?

Prometheus would also like to understand from more knowledgeable folk if some Sabab would be deducted for keeping a non-fasting person hungry.

And Prometheus also feels that it is easy to go without food when there is no food in sight. What makes a fast that much more spiritually rewarding is that one abstained even under temptation.

26 September, 2006 15:53  
Blogger DesertNorm said...

Respect can not be obtained by force.

That feeling is called fear.

26 September, 2006 15:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a mulsim and ofcourse I fast during the month of Ramadan. And just like me there a billion other Muslims all around the world some living in Non-Muslim countries. But they still fast during the month of Ramadan without the need for this rediculous "law" asking people not to eat in public, keeping the restaurants closed during the day.

My God, is your imaan (faith) so weak?? Hamdullillah, I have no problem fasting even if someone dangles kebab infront of my face all day long.

The whole point of fasting is so you can understand the pain, the hunger of the poor and the needy.

And then there are these stupid rascist people here who post something like "Hopefully someone does something fast, our hungry expats are soon going to threaten our economy once they leave...we need to do something to make them happy...feed them feed them...its one month for heavens sake...
Cut the drama SD"

How stupid can you be? Its not about the hungry expats leaving from your godforsaken country. Its about what Ramadan actually means.

That is the problem with you people, you arabs call yourselves muslims but you are as far as you can be from being muslims. Israeli's are closer to being Muslims than you Arabs.

I am a Muslim and proud to be one. And let me point it out to you that hatred, rascism and attrocities are not part of my religion. Islam does not teach me to be rascist or hate other people.

Thank God I am a real Muslim unlike the Arabs.

26 September, 2006 16:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The authorities in Dubai really need to decide what they want to do with this place.
On the one hand it is a top tourist destination with G-strings, Bikinis , Alcohol , and Prostitution . Everything goes 11 months a year.

Then along comes Ramadan and everyone gets the big stick , everyone is forced into fasting (directly or indirectly) , the prostitutes get wiped off the streets and suddenly we need to get jiggy with it.

However if you are willing to pay the municipality a bribe (Cannot be called anything else) of 8000 AED then you can open your restaurant during the day even if it is only for
Take away. This place is expensive but the sheer greed of those in charge is insatiable.
The hypocrisy is astonishing , I am a Muslim and I don’t want someone else to suffer for my religion. During Ramadan we need to be pious and humble and try to be better human beings but the authorities’ suddenly become Muslims only at Ramadan . Who are they trying to kid.

Ramadan Kareem to all

26 September, 2006 17:28  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

All this talk about not eating pork and beef is upsetting me.

Theres a better chance of me finding religion than not eating beef or pork.

Oh, wait....

26 September, 2006 18:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing alot of people are overlooking is that india has the second largest population of muslims. Muslims in india dont whine about working hours , the difficulties of fasting and rubbish like respect for culture. i mean if your going to close everything..who's going to get tempted to eat and really get to test their will power. restaurants in india have waiters who fast and serve food to ppl.. you dont see them bitching and whining about fasting. Ad moreover i thought one of the conditions of fasting in islam was to work as you would on any normal day to know the real hardship of not getting food. And all over people fasting keep making it a point that thier fasting and that others should consider..WHY SHOULD WE?? (non-muslims) . Your fasting out of your own will, nobodys got a gun pointed at you. Its supposed to be a time of the month that makes people more pious, family oriented, friendly n all that .. but all you see it ppl gunning it on the highway like they're stoned and theres a massive chocolate bar at the end of the road. CHILL OUT! YOU CANT EAT, YOUR PROBLEM, WHY SCREW IT UP FOR OTHERS!

26 September, 2006 18:26  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

and another thing...

Prometheus

unless you are Ceasar reborn, the Queen of England or Dwayne fucking Johnson, stop speaking in the third person. Its been uncool ever since we realized What The Rock Was Cooking smelled of juvenile bullshit.

Since we already have fire, please go feed the eagles.

(But not in public)

26 September, 2006 18:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 18:26

Good point - never struck me that India has the second largest population of muslims and they don't seem to whine too much about it.

rummyjohn:

Agreed. Hilarious!

26 September, 2006 19:45  
Anonymous ulrike weber said...

We expats / westerners often come to this part of the world and become ever so haughty and arrogant. We preach “civilisation” though we are often semi - educated ourselves.

this is a good piece:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1874786,00.html

26 September, 2006 19:50  
Anonymous ulrike weber said...

highlight the entire link and paste into the address bar...

26 September, 2006 19:53  
Anonymous ulrike weber said...

There are too many lazy, unexamined assumptions about Islam, which tends to be regarded as an amorphous, monolithic entity. Remarks such as "They hate our freedom" may give some a righteous glow, but they are not useful, because they are rarely accompanied by a rigorous analysis of who exactly "they" are.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1525714,00.html

26 September, 2006 19:57  
Anonymous Ozzy said...

SD: Fasting is ALL about feeling about the poor's suffering. The spiritual cleansing bit is a secondary objective.

And No, its not a sin to eat in front of someone who is fasting...I myself have fearlessly eaten and drank while driving and have not been stopped for it.

26 September, 2006 22:00  
Blogger al-republican said...

The usual flood of comments - much ado about nothing.

Anyways, SD, I have started my own blogs. I am contemplating putting up something there regarding this uproar about Dubai laws in Ramadhan.

In the meantime, you all may read 2 entries I have there at the moment.

http://al-republican.blogspot.com

26 September, 2006 22:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wine until u explode, no one is gonna listen especially after seeing this attitude.

26 September, 2006 22:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what happened to the Ramadan decorations that Dubai used to put up. Can't even see any " Dubai the City that cares " seems they don't make much money out of it ! what a shame ! Can't wait for Christmas !

26 September, 2006 23:40  
Anonymous Anna said...

In my previous work place I was even told to wear "decent" clothing. All I did was show up in a sleeveless shalwar kameez, something most Indian/Pakistani wear... Apparently some bloke there claimed to be distracted - hence I should cover up.

I fast every Monday and I really can't ever imagine ever asking somone else to change their routine for me. The whole don't eat and drink anywhere during the day thing is merely a government rule. I don't think Muslims who are fasting mind if others continue with their normal routines.

26 September, 2006 23:57  
Blogger Mme Cyn said...

Did no one in the blogosphere go to Catholic school but me? As I recalll, the Catholics give up whatever is most precious to them for forty days of Lent each year day and night) and don't whinge about it. Those of us who knew what they were giving up didn't rub their noses in it, obviously, but the view was that they were 'offering it up' -- personal and private between themselves and God. Seems to me Ramadan ought to be the same thing -- personal and private.

27 September, 2006 00:54  
Anonymous sock puppet said...

what a nice country uae is.. anyone who wants to crititicize about something bad in this country has to post as "anonymous"

moslems are hypocrites... they feel insecure because it's only a minority religion.. so they force other people to follow their stupid intolerant religion...

27 September, 2006 08:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! congrats on the blog SD, i just discovered it a week ago, and i've been going through it daily ever since. I even told alot of my friends about it. You have created an online expat community where you can all gather and express your deep feelings and what's been eating you inside, things that you can't really say out loud for reasons you know better than me.

it's obvious non of you are trying to solve some of the problems we have in the UAE, otherwise you would have contacted peopl,sent a complaint to authorities, oh wait sorry you dont beleive in our government authorities, government rules, muncipalities, and even shaikhs.

it's a wonder how etisalat didn't block your site yet. lol "blocking you anytime, anywhere" hilarious, though you would know best :)

27 September, 2006 11:38  
Anonymous Kristina said...

sock puppet

you only reveal your own ignorance and lack of education when you hurl such gratuitious abuse. Your parents seem to have made a mess of you - i suppose they were stupid and intolerant and you have taken after them. It's in poor taste to rubbish others' faiths and beliefs.

Kristina

27 September, 2006 14:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristina,

Nothing wrong with saying whats true.

- DD

27 September, 2006 14:31  
Blogger ReginaFilangee said...

i find it quite hilarious and typical that you can get arrested for eating, but you can still pick up a prostitute. It's all a frassard..

27 September, 2006 14:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can some one post the figures of how many hungry and starving expats have been arrested for eating in public and how many have died of hunger since 1st of Ramadan?

27 September, 2006 15:17  
Blogger McSmitten Kitten said...

zavzyOf course in many countries where Muslims are in the majority, fasting is an intensely personal experience, and is not a law. I believe the Koran states that a good Muslim is not allowed to inflict his beliefs on others (though I could be mistaken).

Interesting that Ramadan in the UAE started a full day or two earlier than anywhere else in the world. I wonder if the moon's whereabouts on New Year's Eve (and therefore determining whether the bubbles on December 31 were sparkling date juice or Veuve Clicquot) had anything to do with the timing?

27 September, 2006 16:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember eating in a restaurant last year during Ramadan...it was in Century Village. Has anything changed this year?

My company allows employees to eat, drink and smoke in the kitchen...although there was an official memo prohibiting "public" eating/smoking/drinking...since when did a company's offices become public ?

Anyway it is not such a big hassle overall...To all my fellow expats friends, we come here for that extra twist of adventure, so stop complaining. Anyway those cookies that I munch from out of my deskdrawer taste so much better now...

27 September, 2006 16:59  
Anonymous bob said...

The Infidel Curtain of Haram Shame ©2006 SD

27 September, 2006 17:49  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

I really can't believe people are inconvenienced by Ramadan.

In a purely corporeal sense, it is not hard to go 12 hrs without food. Trust me. I was an extremely poor student doing a McJob just a couple of years ago. 2 meals a day was a luxury.

People on this blog may hold fasting/starving by choice, compulsion or necessity as three entirely different circumstances but have in doing so entirely missed the point.

You are in the middle east. You are here by choice. Ramadan is a local custom, and as such should be respected.

Some years ago I lived in Dubai with 3 Pakistani roomies. I was invited to observe a day of fasting with them. We did the whole thing, from the pre-dawn prayers and meal through to Iftar. It was a great experience, especially the inclusion in the prayers even though I am not muslim.

When my parents moved to Oman in the late 70s, living in the Middle East was a choice one made not purely for pecuniary interest, but because it was a unique experience that people fell in love with.

Unfortunately, Dubai today sounds more like a transit point for people whose expectations in life are dervied from primetime television (FOX, not the Discovery Channel).

Perhaps Dubai itself should share some of the blame for having lost the charm of South-Eastern Arabia. After all, it markets itself as the center of the world, not just the Arab-Islamic world, and promises to indulge materialistic whims rather than idyllic nostalgia.

(Oman is a couple of hrs drive away anyways)

You are in Dubai by choice. As such do not abstinan from food (in public) because you are compelled to do so. Embrace it as an experience, and one truly unique to the part of the world you're in.

You will be the richer for it.

27 September, 2006 21:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not that I mind fasting.

Its the fact that it is forced on me (I spend most of the time on the road).

Stop Forcing People - thats the point we are trying to make. Would you like to be forced to follow someone else's customs?

Treat us how you would like to be treated.

- DD

27 September, 2006 22:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Dubai!
Why we need a Dubai Health City

28 September, 2006 00:12  
Anonymous Sriram said...

I quit smoking in Ramadan last year, and now that I've got a bad sore throat (it's God's way of telling me to stop)I'm going to try and quit again.

Ramadan is the best time to quit smoking. The hours are less demanding, its the best time to chill out and take a break.
Last year, I had my lunches from an excellent restaurant and ate it in my conference room with a bunch a people without any issues whatsoever.

Sometimes, I unconsciously sipped water in front of them, and apologised, only to see them completely unconcerend about these so called rules.

Use this period to clean up some part of you that can't quit.. You dont have to be a Muslim to do so.

28 September, 2006 15:09  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Oh good for your Sriram - that's great news for your lungs, and for clean air generally ;)

Good luck with it!

28 September, 2006 15:30  
Anonymous alice said...

rummyjohn

bravo !

Thanks for putting it so simply and nicely

alice

29 September, 2006 06:00  
Anonymous Hannibal Smith said...

I attended high school in Dubai in the 80s and remember my Muslim classmates having voluntary detention inside classrooms during Ramadan, lest they be tempted by the Pofaki munching, Capri-Sonne drinking infidel Christian & Hindu compatriots.

29 September, 2006 16:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 11:38

excuse me this isnt an expat community.

We locals are following, tracking u anywhere everywhere.

:D muhaahaahaaaaa

29 September, 2006 23:26  
Blogger kingfisher said...

Mme Cyn:
I agree with your comparison to our Catholic upbrinings. Through adversity comes strength... instead we have this hubris...

ReginaFilangee:
Is it permissable to eat a prostitute...? haa haa haa

kf

03 October, 2006 13:56  
Anonymous Posted by and idiot said...

ReginaFilangee

Please feel free to munch on her rug:p

err and bring back pix :)

04 October, 2006 11:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok So i was reading this topic and its comments. ok here is what i think, i mean obviously Dubai should allow foriegners and non-muslims to eat in public places.. and as far as i know, i think its permitted, Even in Sharjah, as i saw a mini-mart in Some petrol station serving Food... As for the muslims to Fast or not, i think its their own choice, i mean The Choice (for Muslims) to fast or not should not be forced... i believe its between A Man and His God...
Islam Doesnt Say that During Ramadan all Restaurents shall be closed and all non-muslims can't eat in Public... its a religion of ease and comfort... as for the (Counting how many died of hunger in Ramadan)... i hope its not a real question... i mean CMON... You think People Die cuz of Fasting less than 10 hours a day, i mean if we say fasting starts at 5 AM... everyone would be Sleeping and snoring, then you wake up at 7:30, go to the Reduced-time Job, go back and wait till its 6:15 and then Eat... OH ISNT THAT A RECIPE TO KILL YOURSELF OF HUNGER?

HitMan

09 October, 2006 12:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"infidels? INFIDELS??"
im sorry but saying such crap about non muslims is stupid and gay and typical muslim behavoir.Call us by our religion, not "infidel"! whoever calls non muslims infidels should be hanged by their genitals.
so yeah, go screw yourselves with a pogo stick.

13 October, 2006 09:17  
Anonymous Andrew M. said...

I am currently fasting, purely for the positive effect it has on ones body and mind. Religion plays no part in my choice, as I believe organized religion to be the worst thing mankind has ever come up with.

I also think that the cause for this article is ridiculous. The fact that you can be arrested for eating in public, and the use of the word "Infidel" shows how full of Ignorance the world still is.

I live in Canada where people eat outside all the time, and no one is expected to stop because I have -chosen- to abstain from food.

Its called willpower. Learn how to exercise it. Isn't that the entire point?

30 June, 2007 10:02  

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