The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Shamila Jamaluddin, Staff Reporter
Intentions or resolutions don’t come only on New Year’s Eve. This year a few expat residents kept dietary resolutions starting from the onset of Ramadan extending throughout the month.
When Gulf Today met the over-50 expatriate residents from Asia, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, this is what they had to say:
“I began cutting down on sugar, white rice and all forms of dairy products. Throughout Ramadan my diet included bran foods, wheat bran breads and brown rice being an excellent source of fibre, its nutritional profile did improve on my health and I had to buy a new set of clothes smaller in size than what I wore before,” said a father of three aged fifty nine years Mohamed Shahul Hameed from Sri Lanka who completely cut down on white sugar in his tea and hot beverages consuming healthy foods and fruits and he certainly feels good.
His wife Minna Hameed, aged 55, told Gulf Today, “Ageing is associated with unwelcome changes in physical appearance, I too followed my husband’s diet during Ramadan of no sugar, no white rice and less fatty fried items during Iftar and I am feeling better too having lost some fat around my tummy. I also feel grateful every day for my health. I exercise to stay healthy, I walk a lot around the blocks and that helped too.”
Minna’s sister Haja quipped in saying when women over 50 start aging they have lots of insecurities about their bodies and themselves because a culture tells us that looking young and being physically attractive is the most important thing. “We can’t stay young forever, but we can try to maintain good health through exercise and healthy eating.”
At 60, Dawood Adil from Sudan said the fasting period which controls the mind to inhibit bad habits did bestow in him a stronger will to reduce all kinds of wrong foods during Ramadan and his menu at Iftar mostly contained fruits and only one item of a fried snack.
“In our household we planned in such a way that food remained healthy for all members during Ramadan, we broke the fast with more fruits and less on fatty fried snacks,” added Adil.
A few Indian expat residents’ over the age of sixty, quipped that they too curtailed their eating habits from unhealthy to healthy Iftar. “Ramadan time is family time, since being away from home we did not let the fact that we’re away from our families spoil the Ramadan spirit,” continued Ishara Abu Bakr who has come to stay in Abu Dhabi with her two children aged between 12 and 16.
It is not just a spectacle watching 35,000 people converge at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Ramadan for UAEs largest Iftar (breaking of fast at the sunset), but also a logistical masterclass — considering the smooth manner in which the gathered faithful are served food — and perfect preparations by the Abu Dhabi Armed Forces Club and Hotel chefs who work all day at the mosque’s massive kitchen to produce the free meals for the worshippers.
The UAE Embassies and Consulates General have supervised the distribution of food baskets and Ramadan Ration in Kosovo and India, reports WAM.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah witnessed 1,304 worshippers performing Taraweeh prayer. The Tahajud prayer was performed by 5,103 worshippers.
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The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah, along with the supporting authorities, managed to contain and control the oil slick that recently reached the Al Lu’lu’eya and Al-Zubarah beaches in Khorfakkan.
A 15-year-old who envisions herself to be immersed in Social Service and who believes that perfection or being perfect is both an “illusion” and a “myth” has bagged the Distinguished Student Category Award at the 22nd Cycle (2019-2020) of the prestigious region-wide “Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance Award.”