Published On: Sat, Jun 18th, 2016

British expat loves Ramadan but feels it is being over-commercialised

 I have experienced Ramadan 36 times in the UAE

Keith LuptonBritish businessman, 70, a Dubai resident who has been living in the UAE for the last 40 years.Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Name: Keith Lupton

Age: 70 years
Nationality: British

Occupation: Businessman

Emirate of Residence: Dubai

In the UAE: For 40 years
“I love the month of Ramadan, the pace is very leisurely and relaxed. I have noticed that people make an effort to be polite and not be bad tempered during this time. I came to the UAE 40 years ago and have experienced Ramadan 36 times in the country. Ramadan days were hard at that time, since there were very few outlets for non-Muslims, the best possibility was to fast and go home early. It was especially hard in the summer months specially for those truly adherent to fasting. Working in a non-office environment was challenging. especially in 1976 and 1977 since power cuts were frequent, adding to their discomfort. 
“I came to know of the feast of Ramadan from a BBC program that I had seen years ago. It was about the Tuareg in the Sahara not eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset, yet going about business as usual. I was impressed. At that time I was a heavy smoker and it did bring the ‘do without’ message home to me. I was always amused by Muslim friends who could give up cigarettes in the month, and yet after Eid festivities, return to 20 packet of cigarettes. 
“Although I am a bit of a workaholic, I do like the shorter work hours. Like the three-day week long ago in Edward Heath’s strike bound England, I feel, one tends to get through the same amount of work. Is it the theory that work expands with the amount of time allocated to it? Parkinson’s law. Our company, holds a Ramadan buffet every year since 2003. We hold an auction towards the end of Ramadan for cars, bulldozers, excavators until 2.30am after which the crowd enjoys the pre-dawn meal and we all go home. 
“People seem to be more aware and careful about food wastage during Ramadan these days. I enjoy Ramadan but I feel that like Christmas, it has become over-commercialised. Press and media bombard the families to consume and indulge in the evenings, which I feel is different from the ‘old days’. It is an agreeable period to detune a little and contemplate more serious things in life. And, there is really no need to drive like Juan Fangio to get home in time. Leaving early from one’s workplace will solve the mad and dangerous rush near Iftar when the roads present a real danger.”

News Source Gulf News

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology