WATCH YOUR DAYLIGHT CONDUCT
As a courtesy to fasting Muslims, don’t eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours. Blatantly walking around a shopping mall or in the streets glugging water or eating a bag of crisps could land you with a fine or a trip to the police station.
STOCK UP ON EID GIFTS
Eid takes place at the end of Ramadan, around 8 August this year. Shopping malls and supermarkets maintain daytime opening times with extended evening hours, so you have longer to pick up Eid gifts for family and friends. Candles, lanterns, sentimental gifts such as framed pics and Arabian tea sets make great pressies – check out the gorgeous Ramadan range at Home Centre (there are three stores in Doha, see www.homecentre.com).
ENJOY AN IFTAR
At sundown, Muslims break their daily fast with an iftar – a traditional meal featuring Arabia’s best dishes served buffet-style. For an authentic experience, join a Muslim friend at their home or try out one of Doha’s best iftars on page 58.
DRESS WITH RESPECT
Anyone walking around a Middle Eastern Muslim country in hot pants and skimpy dresses at any time of year needs to have a serious style rethink. During Ramadan it’s especially ignorant. Cover up! For ideas see page 50.
KEEP THE VOLUME DOWN
Other than the classic oud players often seen performing at iftars, live music isn’t permitted during Ramadan and noise should be kept to a minimum. Keep your car radio and your home stereo turned down low
DO SOMETHING FOR CHARITY
Ramadan is the time to really think about how we can help those less fortunate than ourselves. Clear out your wardrobe and cupboards and donate it all to charity, give blood or contribute to some local charitable organisations (see page 56 for ideas).
While Ramadan may interfere with your usual routine or habits, remember that it’s an opportunity for all of us to exercise some self-control. All Muslims should avoid thinking bad thoughts, cursing or getting angry during this period as part of their faith – but non-Muslims could benefit from adopting a similar attitude, too. Remember, cursing isn’t big and it isn’t clever and it definitely won’t be tolerated during Ramadan.