"There is a sense of goodness in every person, and a merciful and generous soul inside each of us." So said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, as he announced a Ramadan initiative aimed at tackling water scarcity across the globe. The Well of Hope will offer government and private sector employees the chance to pump water through an interactive mobile device, before the actual volume of water is donated to those less fortunate. Sheikh Mohammed's words, and the initiative itself, embody the spirit of Ramadan, which is expected to begin next week. This weekend Muslims across the UAE will be mentally preparing themselves for the occasion and stocking up on dates and ingredients for special Gulf delicacies such as thareed in anticipation of the holiest month of the year.
Ramadan is a special time for all of us in the UAE, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The spirit of charity that forms one of the pillars of Islam is, together with respect and communal understanding, a building block of the nation we inhabit. The holy month is a time to reflect on that which matters to us most, including the bonds of family and the essence of spirituality. It is a moment to take stock and to think about those in need, particularly long-suffering Muslims across the region and beyond – from Yemen and Libya to Syria to Palestine and Afghanistan – trying to adhere to the practices of the faithful as conflict rages around them. Closer to home, we are duty-bound to consider those who could benefit from acts of kindness during the holy month. From volunteering at charity iftars to filling Ramadan fridges with goods, we can all do our bit with basic acts of humanity and compassion to help those facing a tough mental and physical challenge in the weeks ahead. The key for all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, is to exercise humility and respect for one another.
In a polarised world, Ramadan reminds us that we are more united than divided. This month, Muslims across the globe, from Indonesia to Sweden, will join in a universal practice that aims to bring them closer to God. On this auspicious occasion, The National wishes its readers an exceedingly warm Ramadan Kareem.