x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ramadan diary: The joyful moments that bring us closer

The best moments are at suhoor games nights, just before dawn.

The first day of Ramadan at home is pretty normal. We are usually ready for iftar half an hour before prayers. Every year my dad has a pre-iftar joke that he has to share: "We should break fast to Oman TV because it's earlier there."

We all think it's lame, but we still laugh. The conversation and jokes are all good fun, but the best part is when we all get to together to enjoy my mother's wonderful cooking throughout the month.

Ramadan brings out the food lover in her. Her savoury samosas and the colourful meals she serves make our iftar that much more special.

After prayers, our family has a round-table discussion about which Ramadan TV show will be playing during the month. Usually comedy wins over drama, but it really depends on how my mom is feeling that day.

During Ramadan there are many things to do in the city. However, the most joyous moments are had at my good friends' suhoor game nights.

Suhoor is usually about 3am or 4am, right before dawn, but these suhoors are dinner and games night.

We all get together, share stories and play games such as Pictionary, Taboo and Blind Ignorance. Pictionary gets competitive, but it is all for good laughs. Taboo readies us for the next game when we all sit in a circle and shuffle a deck of cards to play Blind Ignorance. The rules are simple: on a card a name of a character or famous figure is written. One person, who has not seen the card, attaches it to their forehead, and then they have to guess the person's identity by asking "yes" or "no" questions.

One of the nights we were playing the game and it was a friend's turn. She asked: "Am I famous?"

We all answered in union: "You wish."

"Am I a singer?"

Some one answered: "If in the shower counts, then yes."

After several minutes of constant laughter on our end and mere confusion on hers, she finally gave up and looked at the card, which read "Me". These fun moments, although minor, bring us much closer together.

Ramadan is a month that grounds and humbles us. It brings out the best in us, it makes us forgive ourselves and others and that is why Ramadan isn't like every other month in a calendar year.

Most of us know Ramadan is the month of worship, the month that connects you to your faith.

To me, Ramadan is not only that but it is the month that breaks the barriers between us and people less fortunate. It reflects the patience and tolerance that an individual can endure, but above all, it is about appreciating the Almighty's bounty.

 

Noora Albadr Alshateri, 26, works in business process re-engineering