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UAE Family's Ramadan: Generational Journey of Faith & Tradition

Photo-The National

Ramadan, a sacred time for Muslims worldwide, holds special significance for a family in the UAE. Across three generations, they share a journey that reflects the evolution of this holy month while preserving its timeless values of faith, family, and tradition.

Nahla Abu Dheis, aged 74, reminisces about the simplicity of Ramadan in her youth, where home-cooked meals and communal efforts defined iftar preparations. Born in Palestine and now a grandmother, she fondly recalls the laborious yet heartfelt cooking rituals devoid of modern conveniences like microwaves and blenders. Ramadan, back then, epitomized togetherness and gratitude, with modest homes and heartfelt gatherings overshadowing today's fast-paced commercialized celebrations.

Her husband, Saeed Nouri Al Tareefi, aged 76, shares a perspective steeped in communal and spiritual traditions. Having moved to Abu Dhabi in 1969, he laments the fading of cherished customs like the sunset cannon and the Mesaharati's drum. For him, Ramadan was synonymous with unity and anticipation, where families prepared not just food but their souls for a month of devotion and generosity.

Their daughter, Dalia, aged 49, embodies a blend of tradition and modernity. Growing up in the UAE, she witnessed the evolution of Ramadan celebrations but remains steadfast in upholding core values instilled by her parents. Despite the emergence of suhoor tents and commercialized festivities, Dalia emphasizes simplicity and devotion as the true essence of Ramadan.

Representing the younger generation, Judy Afanna, aged 20, acknowledges the influence of tradition while embracing contemporary customs. She appreciates the added dimension brought by Ramadan decorations and suhoor tents but remains anchored in the values imparted by her elders.

Meanwhile, Fahd, aged 23, underscores the enduring importance of family gatherings, prayer, fasting, and charity instilled by his grandparents. Despite the evolving ways of celebrating Ramadan, he emphasizes the unwavering commitment to its core principles.

This multi-generational narrative not only reflects the changing landscape of Ramadan in the UAE but also underscores the timeless values that continue to bind families across generations.

March 11, 2024 5:14 p.m. 12516

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