The Ramadhan Diaries

Fasting in London and beyond

Archive for the day “July 22, 2013”

Yep it was a tough one today

Today – what a day. Thought it would never end. As I ploughed through the list of patients I just wanted a coffee – the way I normally have it – hidden discretely in the stationary cupboard in Minors within A&E so matron doesn’t see it when she does her walk around. We may be the doctors but matron still rules and we still scamper like naughty school kids caught out when she comes onto the shop floor.

I realised that although I wasn’t particularly thirsty or hungry – it was more the habit of ‘going for a coffee’ or taking a sip in between patients to signify the end of one case and starting a new one. Thank goodness I don’t smoke. How on earth do they cope – Ramadhan is as much about fasting as it is about habit breaking. Nearly half way through – and I am flagging. But on the positive side – I am being forced to slow down. It is difficult and I am getting rather vexed by not being able to do about three things at once but I suppose one month a year to ease the pace a bit is no bad thing!

I am back in A&E tomorrow and hope that my mind is stronger than my distracting cravings. They are really annoying.

Out of sync – but something I wrote about day 1.

Day One Done and Dusted

Day one has happened. Cold turkey with the caffeine is complete and so tomorrow won’t be that bad! Make sure that you are taking on plenty of fluids during the non-fasting hours. Take on some good solid carbohydrates to give you slow energy release tomorrow – pasta, rice, bread. 

Every year I do really feel that time moves so quick. Ramadhan is over as soon as it has begun – it does it every year. Being in this period is a short opportunity to reflect, to detox and to start fresh. Not sure if during our own hunger pangs we are really thinking about those that really don’t have food. I can’t help but say ‘thank God’ when I am allowed to eat. It’s because for some people even when the allotted hours of ‘allowed eating’ come around they don’t have anything and make do with water. So I suppose this is really about understanding why it’s important to give. 

And just to make sure we remember one of the reasons behind it all here is the feel good factor bit. Ramadhan is the month when various campaigns are launched or run in order to tackle poverty and social issues. One example is the End Poverty, Educate Now Ramadhan campaign running in Dubai.

In a recent article the significance of this campaign was stressed by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares.

“In a knowledge-based world, investment in education is key for countries to build a healthy and equitable society. As a result, the inherent potential of people can be fulfilled, leading to an increase in income levels and a reduction in educational and social disparities caused by poverty. Our “End Poverty. Educate Now.” campaign aims to garner the support of the UAE community in order to improve the lives of underprivileged children globally and help further reduce the number of out of school children which according to UNESCO currently stands at 57 million.”

The rest of the article can be read here from the AlBawaba business website.

 http://www.albawaba.com/business/pr/dubai-cares-ramadan-505072

So how do we work out Ramadhan has started? We do a bit of sky gazing! It’s about looking for the new moon to mark the start of the new month. Muslims have always worked off the lunar calendar – which has sometimes resulted in strange interpretations. No we don’t worship the moon. We just use the moon to identify the start of a new month.  The thing with Islam is that even times have changed and the centuries have moved on we do tend to stick to tradition. It’s how they worked out the calendar right from the beginning. But Muslims are not the only ones, Jews also use a lunar calendar. 

Here is a link to a useful site which gives the lunar calendar.

http://lunaf.com/english/moon-phases/lunar-calendar-2013/

And here is a cute little film about a father and his sons trying to locate the new slither of the Ramadhan moon as part of the 4Ramadhan series.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4ramadan/4od

 

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