Reflections of Ramadan in the Middle East: A Journey of Faith and Hope

Malick Elias

I looked forward to the arrival of the Holy month of Ramadan with excitement and jubilation and hoping that I would be able to build upon my achievements from last year.

Last year, 2011, I began the Holy month in London of which I spent the first ten days living out of suitcases and having to break and begin my fast in a hotel. The whole atmosphere for me was less than spiritual. I made several visits to nearby mosques for the Taraweeh prayers and to catch up with old friends, but a mixture of factors led me to catch the earliest flight back to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to experience the rest of Ramadan there and I did not regret it. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of Ramadan in Dubai and at the end of the month I was left with the feeling that through my prayers and fasting I was blessed. Six to seven months later those feelings remained with me. Continue reading Reflections of Ramadan in the Middle East: A Journey of Faith and Hope

Thank God, it’s Friday!

For many parts of the world, Friday is the last day of the week when you get to meet friends, spend a little, laugh a little, breath a little, throw aside the shackles of routine and lose yourself in the little freedoms and vices one can afford. In the eighties I liked letting it all loose dancing to Saturday Night Fever … Staying Alive, Staying Alive …
Now as I rush through the narrative of my Sunday to Thursday life, I eagerly look forward to spending a different sort of Friday, one where the dawn is greeted with the sublime serenity of contemplation and prayer; of expressions of gratefulness and gratitude; of hope and forgiveness; of re-establishing emotional ties with God, man, children, relatives and the world. I pray: Thank God, it’s Friday.