x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ramadan brings a lifetime of memories: diary

Everyday people speak about what the Holy Month means to them.

In my earliest memory of Ramadan, I'm nine years old when I decide, "I'm going to be a big girl and will fast tomorrow," which gets smiles from everyone around me, without getting an actual comment.

I wake up bright and early the next day when I ask for breakfast, eat, play and then remember I was supposed to fast. I promise myself to do it the next day.

That, of course, keeps happening for the whole month and the next thing I know Ramadan has passed and I have failed to fast a single day.

Today, as a 21-year-old woman, I find Ramadan to be one of the most enjoyable months of the year, and that has nothing to do with the fact that it's considered to be the TV season!

It's more about the family ties that are closer than ever during the holy month, the general atmosphere of the country and, of course, the magical effect on time that makes staying up until 1am during Ramadan feel like 9pm or 10pm on regular days.

The pre-Ramadan buzz is something that I find hilarious and entertaining, having to explain to someone who's not a Muslim how it all depends on the moon.

The mothers and grandmothers argue, whether it is about the food, the dishware or how the girls in the family, in respect for the holy month, should ditch the jeans and pyjamas.

Last year, I got to experience Ramadan through Twitter. It was nice explaining to some of my foreign friends about what we do and why we do it, since a lot of them thought we just stop eating from sunrise to sunset.

My fondest moment of Ramadan would definitely be from last year, when my family was seated before the adhan.

My mother said to my sister, who gave birth to a beautiful girl that week, how next year we would have her crawling around.

Today, I see my niece, who is now 1, smiling at the sight of her next target to play with: the food.

 

Mouza Al Mehairi, 21, is from Abu Dhabi