DUBAI // Fatima Docrat was born in South Africa and raised in Canada before her family moved to Bahrain in the 1990s.
Now, she believes the iftar meal she cooks for her family reflects her international upbringing, being packed with dishes from over the globe.
“We feel we are people without borders but our values and manners are based on Islam. We adapted our own customs and food according to the local customs in Bahrain,” said Ms Docrat, a Canadian national.
Of all the places she has lived, she said she felt that the Ramadan celebrations in this region were the best in the world.
“Ramadan in the Gulf is the best I have ever experienced. The decorations in the city and the joy that abounds is amazing,” she said.
“There is a sense of camaraderie even in the malls. I have people I share my culture and belief with and I don’t have to explain to people why I’m fasting. Many share these ideas with me.”
Ms Docrat, a mother of four grown-up children, has lived in Dubai since 2007, where she works as a managing director of a software company.
She said she enjoyed mixing foods from various cultures for her iftar meal. So she puts on Indian samosas, Canadian snacks, and haleem, a kind of stew from Pakistan, and margooga, an Arabian dish.
“After we open our fast and pray, my husband narrates stories or hadith. Everyone gets a turn to say something or read a prayer,” she said.
She said she particularly enjoyed Ramadan because when one is not listening to music or going to the cinema it gives one the chance to focus on spiritual issues.
“It is so conducive to fast here. Ramadan here is like having Christmas for 30 days because it is a celebration every day,” she said.