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AURAK Family Celebrates Ramadan amid COVID-19 Social Distancing Measures

April 24, 2020,

Ramadan is the most important month in the Muslim calendar – a time of religious reflection and, traditionally, large gatherings in mosques and for the fast-breaking iftar meal. AURAK’s Department of PR and Communications talked to Muslim and non-Muslim members of the University family to find out their experience of Ramadan amid the COVID-19 global epidemic.

The Holy Month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It marks the revelation of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Mohammad and is a time of fasting from dawn until dusk, prayer, and socializing with family and friends.

In his message to AURAK, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, the president of AURAK, wished students faculty, and staff safety and happiness in this troubled time.

Ramadan this year is very different from previous ones because of social distancing measures intended to fight the corona virus.

“This year the month of fasting will have to do without the community rituals and will have to be limited to religious rites within the family circle,” said Dr. Khaleda Al Mansoori, Assistant Professor – Linguistics, Humanities & Social Sciences Department.

Dr. Khaleda said she used to swap dishes with neighbours, relatives, and friends, or host and attend community gatherings. She was also involved in distributing Zakat, Sadaqat, iftar buffets, and attending Ramadan bazars and exhibitions.

Many people are now using apps to communicate when in normal circumstances they would have met in person.

Whatever the temporary physical limits on celebrating Ramadan in the usual way, the essence of the Holy Month remains.

“The good point is that despite the different execution in practices this year, it is important to reassure that I can still reflect, improve, pray, share, and care – all from a healthy distance. I can still practice all Ramadan activities without compromising my health or the health and safety of others,” Dr. Khaleda said.

Ramadan is also a significant time for the UAE’s large population of non-Muslims who do not celebrate the festival, although it is an important part of the rhythm of life for all residents.