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Home » Iftar on the job: My 25th Ramadan here and I wish to stay forever
Khaleejtimes International

Iftar on the job: My 25th Ramadan here and I wish to stay forever

From 8.30am till a little after midnight, Ammad runs the grocery store with a couple of helpers.

U.P. Ammad came to the UAE from a small town in Kerala when he was 27 years old. He is now 52 and runs a grocery store in Karama, Dubai.

“This is my 25th Ramadan in the UAE and although I am living away from my family, I wish to stay here all my life because this country helps me provide for my loved ones.”

Ammad, who came to the UAE to work at his uncle’s grocery shop, said he also tried his hand as a driver. He now manages the grocery store on his uncle’s behalf.

From 8.30am till a little after midnight, Ammad runs the grocery store with a couple of helpers. “Although sales tend to go down during the month, the blessings are abundant. I say this because we don’t suffer losses although we notice a drop in sales.”

Ammad ends his fast at the shop, where he and his helpers sit together to have fruits, yogurt and fried fritters from the neighbouring eatery. “After Iftar, we pray together – either at the shop itself or the mosque. We close our shop at that time.”

After the prayer, they conclude the night’s meal with biryani.

“For Suhoor, my roommates and I cook and eat together. There is a feeling of brotherhood and happiness. All this buzz around us keeps us busy, happy and also peaceful as everything we do revolves around the five daily prayers, Suhour and Iftar. This makes fasting easy and comfortable.”

Ammad described Ramadan in Dubai as “peaceful yet lively”.

“My shop is frequented mostly by bachelors, especially just before Iftar and after the Taraweeh prayers. That way it’s lively. At the same time, due to the long prayers and duas, it’s peaceful. We take turns to go for the Taraweeh prayers.”

Ammad said he prefers to spend the holy month in the UAE because of the convenience with which the daily prayers can be offered, safety and the “spirit of brotherhood that comes from interacting with people of so many nationalities.”

saman@khaleejtimes.com

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