Ramadan Kareem | Keep safe, stay blessed and open up your hearts!
Ramadan in Dubai is always special, no matter what you choose to do. We hope that you are keeping safe and staying at home as per the guidelines of the authorities of the emirate that you are living in. May we remember the true essence of Ramadan, connecting to the wider community in ways we can – with compassion and giving back.
Musakhan from Dima Sharif’s cookbook Plated Heirlooms (image shared by author)
Get inspiration from cookbooks, blogs and other online sources for recipes to create delicious meals for your family during Iftars and Suhoors. Enjoy cooking the recipes we are sharing in this holy season of Ramadan. These are recipes that we have tried in our kitchens and have either been created for us or have been shared by cookbook authors. Here are some of the Ramadan recipes that you can try. Dima Sharif, author of Plated Heirlooms, also shares two new recipes with us – the Musakhan or Roast Chicken with Slow Cooked Onions in Olive Oil and Kofta o batata bil t’heeneh or Lamb Kofta and Potatoes in Tahina Sauce.
The restrictions on crowd gathering and donating food directly to any person outside the household that emphasise the importance of social distancing, this shouldn’t stop you from giving back to the community. There are many initiatives and campaigns that you can still be part of. For example, the ‘10 million meals’ campaign, UAE’s biggest community campaign, launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives in collaboration with Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, provides meals or food parcels to support vulnerable individuals and families in The ‘10 million meals’ campaign is the UAE’s biggest community campaign, launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives in collaboration with Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, to provide food assistance to low-income families and individuals affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak across the UAE.
Ramadan memories from yesteryears
While it is vital that we adhere to the restrictions put by the UAE authorities during Ramadan this year, we look back at some of our special memories of Ramadan in Dubai from yesteryears.
Watching the Ramadan Cannons fire during Iftar
During the holy month of Ramadan, single shots are fired daily just before the Maghrib prayers that marks the breaking of the fast and beginning of Iftar. Last year, we witnessed this Ramadan tradition on the very first day of Ramadan. This year however, you can watch the tradition of Ramadan cannons only on TV. Four Ramadan cannons have been prepared in four different locations across the emirate – Al Khawaneej, Atlantis the Palm, Burj Khalifa and the praying area in Al Mankhool. Do read our post and watch the video from last year.
Ramadan Cannon firing during iftar in Madinat Jumeirah (image from 2019)
Break your fast with SMCCU’s Iftar programme
Last year we had an immersive Iftar experiences during Ramadan with a ‘breaking of fast’ at SMCCU’s traditional houses in Al Fahidi Historic District. This was followed by tasting local Emirati dishes and learn more about the holy month of Ramadan, the tradition of fasting, a tour around the sikkas of the historic district and a visit to the Al Farooq masjid.
An immersive cultural meal and tasting of Local Emirati dishes at SMCCU (image from 2019)
Ramadan Sharing Fridges and the cool Ramadan Fridge Art
The Ramadan Sharing Fridges is community initiative that started in 2016 encouraging people to set up and stock fridges in their communities to feed those in need. Probably the easiest way to share and spread solidarity during the holy season, the Ramadan Fridges initiative experienced an organic growth with more that 25,000 members and more than 200 fridges across the city. There was a spurt of creativity along with the evolution of these sharing fridges – Ramadan Fridge Art! Last year, we witnessed a fascinating makeover of a humble sharing fridge in our community by a volunteering artist.
Filling up Ramadan Fridge in DSO; 2019 images Ramadan fridge at the Al Barari community A sharing fridge gets a makeover by artist Stainz
Iftar experiences with Frying Pan Adventures
In one of the earlier years, we had joined the food tour company Frying Pan Adventures on a journey to explore the Heart of Sharjah for a cultural iftar. Understanding the spiritual and communal aspects of Ramadan and breaking fast at Masjid Jamay together from a communal sharing plate had been one of the highlights of the tour.
Breaking fast at Masjid Jamay in Sharjah; 2018 images Stopping at a local bread shop in Sharjah Arva Ahmed sharing stories on Emirati food and culture