Teach Middle East Magazine May-June 2016 Issue 5 Volume 3 - Page 50

Know your UAE Know Your UAE Ramadan 2016 R amadan or the Month of Fasting is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. Some of the main features of Ramadan include fasting, heightened spirituality, fellowship, family and charity. Ramadan is regarded as the holiest month in the Islam calendar. It ends on with the festival of Eid-al Fitr – Day of Celebration and Gratitude. Ramadan Greetings Location: Out and about in the UAE Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak are congratulatory greetings used when the first day of Ramadan is announced. ‘Kareem’ means ‘generous’ and ‘Mubarak’ means ‘blessings.’ Other greetings include ‘Mubarak Alaikum Alshaher’ to which the response may be ‘Allah Yebarek Feek’. Iftar Location: Private homes and eateries across the UAE Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Location: Abu Dhabi The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the official mosque of the United Arab Emirates. It is named after the UAE’s founder and first president, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Ramadan Night Programmes are provided at the Grand Mosque during the holy month. Additionally, the Grand Mosque is credited with having one of the largest Iftar gatherings in their car park. 48 | May - Jun 2016 | | After The Bell Iftar is the evening meal after sunset to break the daily fast during Ramadan. Traditionally, the meal was to have a few dates and water. Later in the evening, it becomes more festive with larger meals enjoyed amongst family and friends after Magreb prayers. All mosques offer free Iftar meals to the less privileged within the society, whether they are Muslims or not. Many hotels and restaurants will also have special Iftar tents where customers can have a simple or more complex meal (prices vary).