Ramadan is upon us again, bringing with it a special focus on the values we should all try to carry with us throughout our lives. While fasting during the longest days of summer will present some physical challenges, the celebration of the Holy Month will bring tremendous joy as families and friends are united in prayer and at gatherings. A spirit of generosity and the hand of friendship will be extended across the country and the globe.
During this time, people will need to pay extra attention when driving, because fasting can lead to a loss of concentration. In the workplace, colleagues will need to be more understanding and supportive of each other. And those with health problems should follow medical advice on managing their condition during the fast.
Importantly, many people will undertake acts of charity, ranging from simple small acts of kindness to larger philanthropic projects such as last year’s programme that clothed millions of poor children, and the annual Adopt a Camp campaign that provides meals for thousands of labourers.
This year will see another highly ambitious project under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The UAE Suqia campaign, beginning today and conducted in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent, will see Dh125 million spent on giving millions of people access to clean drinking water. Preliminary work has already begun in Pakistan and Iraq.
This project recognises the importance of clean water as a staple of life and health, and access to it as a basic human right. Yet, according to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals Report 2012, 11 per cent of the world population does not have reliable access to safe drinking water.
In helping to address this global crisis, Sheikh Mohammed and those who will carry out the planning and field work are demonstrating a practical understanding of the spiritual values of the Holy Month.
Everyone in the UAE – Muslims and non-Muslims, Emiratis, expatriates and visitors – can learn from the values espoused during Ramadan.
And everyone can join in the Ramadan spirit by supporting worthy projects, such as the Suqia campaign, that truly make a difference in the lives of others.