Culture Travel

What it’s like to share a meal with 3000 men in old dubai

July 29, 2016

My whole life, having iftar with people I didn’t know was confined to dining in restaurant buffets. Even though such outings were not frequent, it got to the point where I stopped seeing the point of lavish buffets, wastage and no soul in what is supposedly meant to be a month of spirtituality and connectedness. (making up this word)

This Ramadan, I decided to try something different. Something that would heighten the experience and feeling of unity and oneness within the community, over a meal.

Arriving at Naif area in Deira at around 6:30 pm on a hot and humid June day. We walk towards the souq, noticing an uncanny silence of what is normally a place that bustles with market activity. The air has cooled off from the afternoon’s heat and people are either sat in groups, texting friends, or coming back from the mosque with plates of freshly made, hot Biryani to feast on over iftar.

It’s the last hour of the fast and the hardest. Every corner we turn into wafts of spices and food being prepped or distributed. Once we reach the neighborhood where my dearest Arva (remember her from my India film trip ?) promised us iftar, I could’nt help but feel like my senses have be awakened by the citrus aroma of oranges wafting in the air!! That’s it, this was our iftar spot. Everywhere you looked, rows and rows of blue plastic cloth covered the street pavements, topped with oranges, dates, laban, water, Kanji soup and best of all, crispy onion samosas to banish one’s hunger.

It was a humbling to be amongst a crowd where the only thing that mattered was our faith and humanity. Not our status, material possesions, or money. It’s definitely an experience I’d love to repeat more often and one I highly recommend to try with Frying Pan Adventures.

Leaving you with some of my captures from the trail.

Iftar essentials

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