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In Ramadan, there's fun and wisdom in doing it like the locals do

This Ramadan turned me to a serial Suhoor-goer and I listed here all the tents I've been to. However in this post, most importantly, you would be able to dive into my deep thoughts about Ramadan. This holy occasion is not all about *generosity* as I thought it is all this time. It is all about something else, which I discussed here.

If you're living in a Muslim-majority country (I am currently based in Doha, Qatar), sometimes there's fun in doing it like the locals do — most especially during the month that they often call the holiest, aka Ramadan. In one of my previous blog entries, I mentioned that Qatar is the ultimate place to be during this holy occasion, said one of my Muslim friends; which has recently been asserted by another Muslim friend, as he said he finds Qatar to be more peaceful and religious than his home country.
Well, even I, a non-Muslim, can agree to that — if my judgment is anything to go by. This month has turned me into a serial Suhoor-goer, thanks to generous hotels who have let me experience the kind of celebration that's very arabesque rendered in different ways, shapes and forms, which I honestly wouldn't otherwise give a thought of doing even if I've lived here for almost a decade.

My younger self would perhaps say there's no use in spending such time and effort in attending events that originally are not part of my lifestyle. But now that I'm older and I see things in a much more even-handed way, I learned to take part in the practices of the country I live in, which in turn made me understand cultural and racial differences better — beyond history books and 7th grade concepts — and for the record, truly find beauty and wisdom in them.

I know a few non-Muslim Doha dwellers who are practicing daytime fasting since day one of Ramadan for themselves. I know some friends who are encouraged to fast by their boss or colleague or friends (include me in this list). While my frequently-ravenous and most-functional-in-the-morning self can't surely handle that, I think this is where the good ol' saying comes in handy: it's the thought that counts.

It's the thought that regardless the race, color, religion, age and occupation, Ramadan kindles the esprit de corps in all of us which will bring us together and make us all feel equal even just for once. I have high respect for this Qatari family who, as the headlines say, feeds 300+ people a day in spirit of Ramadan; and also for establishments and hotels what with their initiatives for the less fortunate ones.

People always see this deed as a form of generosity, but for one, let me just say there's more to it than generosity. I believe, aside from the great feeling of being able to share, it also advocates for equality as it implies that all of us deserve to feel the spirit of this occasion, to celebrate and most of all, to be happy.

1001 Arabian Nights at Ritz Carlton Doha

Ramadan Tent at The Ritz Carlton Doha

Full review here.

Ramadanak Tent at Grand Hyatt Doha

Ramadan Tent at Grand Hyatt Doha

Full review here.

Grand Ramadan Tent at The Westin Doha

Ramadan Tent at The Westin Hotel Doha

More details here.

Azraq Restaurant at Banana Island by Anantara

Ramadan Iftar and Suhoor at Azraq Restaurant Banana Island Doha

More details here.

Ramadan Tent at Sheraton Grand Hotel Doha

Ramadan Tent at Sheraton Grand Doha

More details here.

Palatial Ramadan Tent at Marsa Malaz Kempinski Doha

More details here.

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