Hotels gearing up for Ramadan
2 September 2007
Gulf Daily News: HOTELS around Bahrain are gearing up for Ramadan with traditional tents, offering Arabic refreshments, entertainment and games.
Non-Muslims are welcome to all tents that usually remain open up to 3am.
And so goes it; businesses are gearing up to cash in on Ramadhan, and the people are looking forward to entertaining nights out after futoor, going from tent to tent, to coffee shop to restaurant. Ramadhan is now well known for its fun-filled nights and staying out late, following evenings of watching popular TV shows after over-exceeding the totally full mark on your stomache (and still having enough food on the table to feed another 2 or 3 families). Lets not forget the shorter working hours, and having the perfect excuse not to be efficient at your job (after all, we all know how hard fasting is on our productivity).
As we pass the middle of Ramadhan, the outings increase; more people start staying out later and later, and everyone seems to be in the malls and shops buying new clothes for Eid. The restaurants are full, the coffee shops are busy, the tents are over flowing with people. The popular roads are filled with youth; Adliya, Juffair, Exhibition Rd, Bukwara, all aimlessly driving around for fun of the cruise, or perhaps looking for a hook-up? More guys and girls out, dressed at their best; the guys in their finest, the girls overflowing in make-up, each looking from far, trying to make contact.
This is what Ramadhan is all about, isn't it?
Actually, no, it's not.
Did we forget? Wasn't Ramadhan the holy month? Aren't we fasting to remember the poor, those who can't afford to eat? Isn't this a month where we are supposed to get closer to God, pray more, ask for forgiveness for our sins?
When we fast, the pain of hunger is supposed to remind us of those that are out there who can't afford a bite to eat; we are supposed to feel the sting of hunger, thirst, and appreciate the life we've been given. The object of fasting is not to run away from the hunger, work less, and try to sleep it off, but to see the perspective of those who were given less than us. We're supposed to feel humbled, and consider the others who don't have what we have; to understand how it feels, and to go out there and try to help.
And what's the point if we know that, once it's time to break our fast, that we'll have a million and one varieties of food? And waste, oh how we WASTE. Already supermarkets are putting limits on purchases, because everyone is going out and over-stocking food, and buying a lot more than they need (most of it to be thrown away after futoor time). The newspapers are full of reports on so and so company bringing in more supplies, more food, more drinks, and so on. Why are we eating more? We're still the same number of people as we were before Ramadhan started. Does it make sense we're eating twice as much? Considering we have to be fasting half the time?
And after Futoor, it's all about the TV shows; slumped lazily on your sofa, munching on your sweets and snacks, laughing at the ridiculously pointless comedies of Dawood Hussain, or any of the other shows that promise to bring "drama" to a new level, but end up unfolding into another story of divorce, drugs, death, or some other sob-story.
Oh, and the outings all night, whether in a coffee shop, tent, or gahwa, you really couldn't come up with a better way to waste your time.
Holy month? Does the word mosque ring a bell? Reading the holy book? Praying? Helping others? Charity work? Anything???????
Please tell me Ramadhan hasn't yet lost all real meaning..