It would be remiss of me not to write a post this year about Ramadan, but how should I approach this as I’m not an expert in Ramadan matters or Islam and I don’t want to provide incorrect information? In addition, there are some great people out there who have already written some great articles on Ramadan already. Well here goes :
This is my fourth Ramadan in Dubai and I really can’t believe that it’s upon us already, where has the year gone ? At the beginning of the year the start of Ramadan was a vague date in the calendar penciled in towards the middle of July across a few days as we never know exactly when it will start as the Moon has to be sighted in the right position by the Moon Sighting Committee.
My New Year’s Resolutions this year included the fulfillment of a personal challenge and dream and that was that I wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (standing at 19,341 feet high Kilimanjaro is the fourth highest mountain in the world). I researched the climb earlier in the year and decided that a date shortly after Eid ul-Fitr, which follows Ramadan, would be the best date for me to attempt the summit since this looked to be the month where Kilimanjaro is at it’s warmest (comparatively speaking !) and with this in mind I booked the trip, which seemed a long time away and somewhere in the far distant future.
And then BAM !!! all of the sudden, the Moon Sighting Committee met last Thursday evening and by the time I was midway through my exercise class (one of the many I am doing in preparation for my climb), the moon had been sighted in the appropriate position and Ramadan was called.
And so, now my Mount Kilimanjaro count down truly starts and seems to be feeling much more real.
In truth a lot of my preparation has been done or is almost completed as I’ve completed bits of it ‘pole, pole’ – this means slowly slowly in Swahili and apparently it’s what the guides will be saying to us a lot on the trip to slow our ascent and help with acclimatisation and the dreaded altitude sickness.
I’ve read the guide book multiple times and have chosen the route which I want to do, I’ve found the tour company, I’ve begged, borrowed or bought the majority of my gear, I’ve done a ton of exercise and got fitter and I’ve had the majority of my travel vaccinations (six in one day was an epic afternoon – and I felt like a pin cushion ! I also ran out of limbs or major muscles to be injected !).
Now throughout the time of Ramadan, when I have a little more free time (you could also read here – I won’t be in the coffee shops during the daytime!) I am putting in place my final plans – booking flights and hotels for my R&R time in Zanzibar, having a final few injections (Just 3 more to go !), picking up Altitude tablets, figuring out what to pack and weighing my pack to hit the 15kg limit and shopping for last minute food provisions – dates, trail mix, protein and/or chocolate bars.
So that’s it – the countdown begins!! By the time we reach the end of Ramadan and we move into Eid my thoughts will be shifting to starting to realise a dream, I dream I’ve had since I was a teenager, and hopefully with a lot of hard work, grit and determination I’ll summit Mount Kilimanjaro and have a little energy left to whoop with joy at achieving a crazy dream at the age of 45 and 3/4 ers !!!
So back to where I started this post, Ramadan – there are some great articles written by some of my favourite writers/bloggers as well as some YouTube video clips, so take a look below for some more traditional posts about Ramadan through to articles on where you can eat during the daytime if you are not fasting and some more food related Ramadan posts and recipes from some great foodie bloggers.
For residents and visitors to the UAE during Ramadan you can find some useful information here from the Visit Abu Dhabi website.
If you are into traveling and want to understand Ramadan across the globe then read Reminisces of Ramadans past on the Platetrotter page.
If you want to dine out for lunch during Ramadan then take a look at Foodiva’ssite here and Geordie Armani’s site here for details of places which are open outside of hotels.
Written and described by some of the members of Fooderati Arabia are some great articles regarding Ramadan. Sally from My Custard Pie shares a recipe for Panna cotta two ways for two special occasions. Holly from Arabic Zealtalks about Suhoor. You can find an easy recipe for Peach Melba Cheesecake on La Mere Culinnaire’s website written by Arwa A. Lootah
For some great recipes for Iftar and articles relating to Ramadan, including a stress free Ramadan Banquet, take a look at the first issue of Beram and Tagine E- Magazine here. The pictures are simply stunning and there are quite a few recipes I plan to test during Ramadan including Assia’s grilled chicken and a carmalized onion dip which look simply stunning.
Whilst Kinan Jarjous of Jar of Juice reminds us what Ramadan is not about in a thought provoking article here