Ramadan and Non Muslims

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Yeo_Man, Sep 3, 2008.

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  1. A couple of colleagues are going out to do some work in Oman over the Ramadan period and we have had various discussions over how this might affect them.

    I do remember catching a TV excerpt, where Dom Jolly observed it for a day, his collection of items on the table as the cannon went off was quite impressive; beer, fags, orange juice etc.

    Could any offer advice on office etiquette during this period? I know I would be tempted to ensure my desk was covered in food and drink.

    We have suggested that they might want clear off at the weekends to somewhere a little less restrictive, any suggestions?

  2. Depends on the country. In Saudi Arabia it is generally accepted that westerners will eat whenever they want, but it is encouraged not to do so in public during daylight hours to avoid upsetting the locals. If you are office based then there should be an agreement about conduct during Ramadan and outside of work most western-friendly restaurants will also help you out. Far worse than the risk of offence, however, is the risk of death/serious injury courtesy of drivers who are unable to concentrate having not eaten since 0500 and worshippers at mosque kicking-out time who may have been whipped into an anti-western fervour by over zealous Immams inspired by the holiest time of the Islamic calendar and low blood sugar levels.

  3. The rules in my office are very clear.

    If I aint eating, neither is anyone else!

    Only joking! It's no big deal as long as you're not waving a piece of chicken in my face...or giving me detailed descriptions of your favourite food.
  4. And how are things in Tower Hamlets this fine day?
  5. You must be extracting the urine if you think that the Saudis will allow Westerners to 'eat at will'. To eat in public in an Islamic country is against Sharia law and is therefore illegal, especially in Saudi Arabia. Oman is certainly more relaxed however it is still heavily frowned upon to smoke, eat, drink, discuss sex etc during daylight hours. At the moment the 'banned time' is between about 0440 & 2000 give or take a few minutes.

    In an office you should, if sharing with Muslims, not indulge however if you have a private office then you should just 'keep it low' and be careful. You will gain much respect by being sensitive to those fasting and they really appreciate it. The breaking of the fast or Iftar is a real social occasion so if you get invited along it's a goood experience.

    It is right that the driving can leave a little to be desired, especially just before the breaking of the fast in the evening however the b*llocks about the worshippers at mosque kicking out time is as it says b*llocks.
  6. I usually find eating a large leg of pork ala Henry VIII and washing it down with a demijohn of grog is the only way to publiclly celbrate any religious festivals in the middle east... everyone is just so wondefully tolerant you see!
  7. I've spent several Ramadans in Muslim countries and I never came across any anti-Western attitudes at mosque kicking out time. Utter pish IMO.

    Oman isn't that great at Ramadan time to be honest. There are curtained off sections in the main hotels in Muscat where you can get scran but it's nigh on impossible to get booze unless you book a hotel room and get room service for which you'll pay a hefty price (£90 for a bottle of vodka in Oct 2003 in Muscat!). You can get booze in Bahrain but it's low key and the nightlife is practically non-existent during Ramadamadingdong. Dubai is slightly better-just go straight to the York Club in the York International Hotel for drink and whores :D

    Mind you, a couple of my shipmates managed to get absolutely shiters and go whoring in Muscat during Ramadan so it all depends how determined you are!

    As long as you're sensible about it, don't kick the backside out of it and are sensitive to their beliefs, then you'll be fine. The Omani's are a fairly decent bunch and no-where near as obnoxious as a lot of Saudi's can be. Top tip-make sure your lower legs are covered up during Ramadan as they get quite arsey about this.
  8. Oman is more relaxed but follow these:

    I received this earlier today from the FCO.

    Travelling during Ramadan
    Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. In 2008 it’s expected to start on or around 2 September and is expected to end around 1 October.

    You should be aware that levels of observance of Ramadan will vary in different countries and cultures but most Muslims will conform to some extent with the requirements of the fast - that they fast between dawn and sunset.

    This means they can’t eat, drink, smoke or even chew gum during daylight hours. Muslims use this time of abstention for prayer, contemplation and charitable work.

    Check our travel advice for more information on specific countries. You will also find information on website of the relevant British embassy.

    Travelling to Muslim countries
    If you’re travelling to a Muslim country during Ramadan you should be sensitive to the fast:

    avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public – many people will understand that you aren’t under the same obligation to fast but will appreciate your awareness
    in some Muslim countries it’s actually illegal to eat and drink in daylight during Ramadan
    some restaurants will close or operate amended opening hours during Ramadan
    restaurants that cater to tourists should open as usual but hotels will sometimes use screens to keep western diners sectioned off from Islamic guests
    business hours may become shorter in the day
    It’s not impossible to travel or do business in Islamic countries during Ramadan, but different rules do apply. Seek local advice on arrival either from your tour guide, hotel or business contacts.

    Iftar – breaking the fast
    Iftar is the time each day when the fast is broken and a meal is taken with family and friends. During iftar there is additional pressure on taxis and other public transport so it’s a good idea to time your movements around avoiding having to travel at this time.

    Eid – the end of the fast
    As the end of Ramadan approaches there is normally a lot of activity as people traditionally visit families to celebrate Eid, the three-day festival marking the end of the fast. You should plan accordingly if you’re planning to travel at this time.

    This advice has been drawn up with the assistance of Lonely Planet

    From the Muscat embassy website.

    RAMADAN NOTICE (28/09/2005) Yes I know!!

    The fasting month of Ramadan will begin on either 4/5 October 2005 depending upon the sighting of the moon.

    Please remember to slow respect to our hosts by avoiding eating, drinking and smoking in public during the daylight hours in Ramadan. It is also important to pay special attention to dress by ladies ensuring that shoulders and upper arms and knees are kept covered and men refraining from wearing shorts in public.

    Eid Al Fitr will be around 1st of 2nd of November depending upon the sighting of the moon.

    Eid Mubarak to you all.

  9. Tried observing ramadan myself in UAE a few years back, very hard work and the little pakistanti bloke who ran the corner shop used to have a bottle of water ready for me the momment we heard the cannon go bang. As long as you dont eat and drink in the street you should be ok. Also there is a fatwa that covers travelling, being sick, etc that may cover you if working in the heat.

  10. Like all religious mumbo jumbo; I choose not to believe their delusions, ergo there should be no impact on me. Now I know that whilst in these countries you have to be discreet but that applies to lots of non religious customs around the world.

    Oh, and one other thing. I respect a man's religion with about the same degree of deference as I do his contention that his wife is beautiful and his children, angels!
  11. Thanks for the advice so far, we had considered Dubai as bolt hole if things get a little to painful, also considered suspeding the end contract until the end of the period.

    How is human being supposed to get any work done with out caffine?
  12. Funny how the 'rabs at RMAS somehow got a 'let' to forgo the fasting, and, er - the sobriety and chastity over the holy month....
  13. Bacon sarnie and a bottle of Bush has got to be the way forward.

    If we let them have mosques here, they should let us eat the three little pigs and drink Bushmills dry there.

    Being the "tolerant" religion that the PC Brigade keep telling us they are, of course.
  14. "my office" .....oh f*cking hell thats funny

    Taz786 in his "office" with his co-workers....

    Attached Files:

  15. Good advice. Don't do it in Saudi! You'll have a very unpleasant experience at the hands of the muttawa and police if you do.