A photo series portraying 30 brave and dedicated souls revealing their personal approach towards the Holy Month. Their challenges, intentions, struggles, aspirations and hopes.

30 days, 30 portraits.

Ramadan Kareem.

Suha Ayoub    Arabic & Islamic Teacher   "More than ever, this is the time to work on the diseases of the heart. Envy, arrogance, hypocrisy, greed... Let's wash our hearts and feed our souls with kindness, as kindness melts hearts."   From Jordan 10+ years in Dubai

Suha Ayoub

Arabic & Islamic Teacher

"More than ever, this is the time to work on the diseases of the heart. Envy, arrogance, hypocrisy, greed... Let's wash our hearts and feed our souls with kindness, as kindness melts hearts."

From Jordan
10+ years in Dubai

Gunay Hafiz    Fashion Designer   "Ramadan brings me feelings of lightness. The most touching moment comes after the Taraweeh (last evening prayer), when all that heavy stuff that was on me, it all goes away, and it leaves me feeling light and clear.   From Azerbaijan 6 years in Dubai

Gunay Hafiz

Fashion Designer

"Ramadan brings me feelings of lightness. The most touching moment comes after the Taraweeh (last evening prayer), when all that heavy stuff that was on me, it all goes away, and it leaves me feeling light and clear.

From Azerbaijan
6 years in Dubai

Farah Khorshid    Personal Trainer   "Ramadan for me is a good reminder of those less fortunate and a way to practice self-restraint and control over my needs. It is not the act of fasting that matters the most, but the act of working on myself all year round, being a good example to my children and the best version of myself as I possibly can."   From Egypt 4 years in Dubai

Farah Khorshid

Personal Trainer

"Ramadan for me is a good reminder of those less fortunate and a way to practice self-restraint and control over my needs. It is not the act of fasting that matters the most, but the act of working on myself all year round, being a good example to my children and the best version of myself as I possibly can."

From Egypt
4 years in Dubai

Shafeek & Suhail    Gas Technicians   "We work 14 or 15 hours a day under the heat.Fasting becomes very hard, especially these first days of Ramadan, but what can we do, we have no choice, is His will."   From India & Bangladesh 11 years in Dubai

Shafeek & Suhail

Gas Technicians

"We work 14 or 15 hours a day under the heat.Fasting becomes very hard, especially these first days of Ramadan, but what can we do, we have no choice, is His will."

From India & Bangladesh
11 years in Dubai

Zein Fahmi    Student   "My 9th birthday falls during Ramadan this year, so instead of having a birthday party I want to give the money to the children around the world who need it. Because Ramadan is not only fasting, is also doing good things."   From Egypt 4 years in Dubai

Zein Fahmi

Student

"My 9th birthday falls during Ramadan this year, so instead of having a birthday party I want to give the money to the children around the world who need it. Because Ramadan is not only fasting, is also doing good things."

From Egypt
4 years in Dubai

Tracey 'Latifa' Flook    Guide at Jumeirah Mosque   "you feel thirsty. You feel tired. You feel hungry. But that is the whole point of Ramadan. Can you imagine if you felt like that everyday of your life? It makes you want to help those who really struggle.  Every year that Ramadan comes, it brings me back down to earth again. It makes me appreciate how lucky we are. I gain awareness and appreciation, even of a glass of water."   From United Kingdom 24 years in Dubai

Tracey 'Latifa' Flook

Guide at Jumeirah Mosque

"you feel thirsty. You feel tired. You feel hungry. But that is the whole point of Ramadan. Can you imagine if you felt like that everyday of your life? It makes you want to help those who really struggle.

Every year that Ramadan comes, it brings me back down to earth again. It makes me appreciate how lucky we are. I gain awareness and appreciation, even of a glass of water."

From United Kingdom
24 years in Dubai

Rashid Al Tamimi    PR Manager & Senior Presenter    Sheik Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding   "Teaching Ramadan to our kids starts at home. not only by seeing us fast, pray or be kind and generous to others, but also by reminding them where we come from, how our ancestors suffered, how they went through hunger and shared what they had. Let the children travel, let them learn about other cultures, let them listen and experience so they can become more exposed, more open, more true to themselves. Let it all start from home."   From United Arab Emirates

Rashid Al Tamimi

PR Manager & Senior Presenter

Sheik Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding

"Teaching Ramadan to our kids starts at home. not only by seeing us fast, pray or be kind and generous to others, but also by reminding them where we come from, how our ancestors suffered, how they went through hunger and shared what they had. Let the children travel, let them learn about other cultures, let them listen and experience so they can become more exposed, more open, more true to themselves. Let it all start from home."

From United Arab Emirates

Nasar Hussain Karamat    Gardener   "My God tells me 30 days of Ramadan and I do it. Even if it's too hot in Dubai. Food is no problem. Water is problem. But at the end of the day we drink, we pray, we eat. Ramadan is good."   From Kashmir 10 years in Dubai

Nasar Hussain Karamat

Gardener

"My God tells me 30 days of Ramadan and I do it. Even if it's too hot in Dubai. Food is no problem. Water is problem. But at the end of the day we drink, we pray, we eat. Ramadan is good."

From Kashmir
10 years in Dubai

Amina Abdelbaki    Student   "If you do bad things, God will not accept your fast. To make my fast count, I help my mum, I cook, I try not to fight with my brother and I give food to people who need it.  I also feel sorry for the workers at the gas stations, because it's so hot. So I smile at them and I hope that will make them feel better."   From Egypt    10 years old 10 years in Dubai

Amina Abdelbaki

Student

"If you do bad things, God will not accept your fast. To make my fast count, I help my mum, I cook, I try not to fight with my brother and I give food to people who need it.

I also feel sorry for the workers at the gas stations, because it's so hot. So I smile at them and I hope that will make them feel better."

From Egypt

10 years old
10 years in Dubai

Muhamad Shahzad    Security Guard   "Islam has told us to always keep a smile, always greet 'As salam aleykum', and to never fight. But even if you get upset with someone, never do it for more than three days, no matter what nationality or religion. Make peace with this person during Ramadan because you will be rewarded then times more."   From Pakistan 3 years in Dubai

Muhamad Shahzad

Security Guard

"Islam has told us to always keep a smile, always greet 'As salam aleykum', and to never fight. But even if you get upset with someone, never do it for more than three days, no matter what nationality or religion. Make peace with this person during Ramadan because you will be rewarded then times more."

From Pakistan
3 years in Dubai

Fatima Kamissoko     "None of my actions are specifically directed towards earning paradise or avoiding hell. Instead, they need to have a reason within me. I pray because it brings me calmness, serenity and a feeling of renewal. I fast because it brings me such a deep level of connection with life, that all those toxic feelings that usually suck my energy disappear."   From Mali 4 years in Dubai

Fatima Kamissoko

"None of my actions are specifically directed towards earning paradise or avoiding hell. Instead, they need to have a reason within me. I pray because it brings me calmness, serenity and a feeling of renewal. I fast because it brings me such a deep level of connection with life, that all those toxic feelings that usually suck my energy disappear."

From Mali
4 years in Dubai

????    Seamstress for camel accessories   "Ramadan? Eat. Pray. Work. Sleep."   From Pakistan 10 years in Dubai

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Seamstress for camel accessories

"Ramadan? Eat. Pray. Work. Sleep."

From Pakistan
10 years in Dubai

Ayesha Kouwatly    Business Graduate / Light Beamer   "The moment Ramadan approaches the spirits change in the air. You put your finger out and you feel a beautiful energy surrounding it. Everything becomes very intense. There is a sparkle that happens and you feel the angels spread on earth dancing around you. And it makes you feel so good..."   A 'human soul': Born in Lebanon, raised in Saudi Arabia and Syrian by blood. 18 years in Dubai

Ayesha Kouwatly

Business Graduate / Light Beamer

"The moment Ramadan approaches the spirits change in the air. You put your finger out and you feel a beautiful energy surrounding it. Everything becomes very intense. There is a sparkle that happens and you feel the angels spread on earth dancing around you. And it makes you feel so good..."

A 'human soul': Born in Lebanon, raised in Saudi Arabia and Syrian by blood.
18 years in Dubai

Rohan Siddiqui    Architect   "Dubai is a clear example of East meets West. Experiencing Ramadan as a Muslim here, makes me feel a real sense of community. But I am also British, and Dubai gives me the chance to live and learn other cultures as well. Here I find balance."   From Pakistan    Born and raised in UK  1 year in Dubai

Rohan Siddiqui

Architect

"Dubai is a clear example of East meets West. Experiencing Ramadan as a Muslim here, makes me feel a real sense of community. But I am also British, and Dubai gives me the chance to live and learn other cultures as well. Here I find balance."

From Pakistan

Born and raised in UK
1 year in Dubai

Amal Abu    Graphic Designer   "Culturally speaking, Ramadan has become an everyday feast where so much food ends up being wasted. Women spent all day cooking and getting everything ready for Iftar (break of the fast), making the Holy Month a very stressful period of time for them. Instead, Ramadan should be kept modest and women should also be given the time to do their prayers, read the Quran and get closer to God."   From Kerala, India Born and raised in Dubai

Amal Abu

Graphic Designer

"Culturally speaking, Ramadan has become an everyday feast where so much food ends up being wasted. Women spent all day cooking and getting everything ready for Iftar (break of the fast), making the Holy Month a very stressful period of time for them. Instead, Ramadan should be kept modest and women should also be given the time to do their prayers, read the Quran and get closer to God."

From Kerala, India
Born and raised in Dubai

Saoussane    Pharmacist   "Ramadan is all about peace and kindness. Those who perpetrate atrocities in the name of our religion, stand against the very core values of Islam. Their actions are not our actions. What has made these people fall on the dark side of humanity?"   From Morocco 6 years in Dubai

Saoussane

Pharmacist

"Ramadan is all about peace and kindness. Those who perpetrate atrocities in the name of our religion, stand against the very core values of Islam. Their actions are not our actions. What has made these people fall on the dark side of humanity?"

From Morocco
6 years in Dubai

Dr. Maan Taba    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon   "Fasting is like an 'agression' to the body in order to generate a reaction. When you stop drinking water your body revolutionises, it goes into an alert mode. Your kidney function restricts your fluid loss, you sweat less, your retain more liquids and your body mobilises the reserve from fat tissues. It is an opportunity for regeneration of your immune system removing unnecessary cells."   Spanish national born in Syria 5 years in Dubai

Dr. Maan Taba

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

"Fasting is like an 'agression' to the body in order to generate a reaction. When you stop drinking water your body revolutionises, it goes into an alert mode. Your kidney function restricts your fluid loss, you sweat less, your retain more liquids and your body mobilises the reserve from fat tissues. It is an opportunity for regeneration of your immune system removing unnecessary cells."

Spanish national born in Syria
5 years in Dubai

Aaliya Randeree    Pastry Sous-Chef at Baker & Spice   "There is a lot of tasting involved in my job and I am lucky to have a very reliable and accommodating team that checks everything out for me.  I don't know if fasting is harder for me than for others, but these are my obstacles. I accept them and get on with it."   From South Africa 10 years in Dubai

Aaliya Randeree

Pastry Sous-Chef at Baker & Spice

"There is a lot of tasting involved in my job and I am lucky to have a very reliable and accommodating team that checks everything out for me.

I don't know if fasting is harder for me than for others, but these are my obstacles. I accept them and get on with it."

From South Africa
10 years in Dubai

Imama Quayoom    Electrical Engineer   "I have read the Quran many times before but now I'm learning its meaning. I don't do charity as in getting rid of my unwanted junk but charity as a 'beautiful loan' to God with the promise of a many-folds return."   From Pakistan 7 years in Dubai

Imama Quayoom

Electrical Engineer

"I have read the Quran many times before but now I'm learning its meaning. I don't do charity as in getting rid of my unwanted junk but charity as a 'beautiful loan' to God with the promise of a many-folds return."

From Pakistan
7 years in Dubai

Hamed Sajwani    Entrepeneur   "The tradition of Ramadan has changed through the years. The family gatherings are still there but we don't exchange food with our neighbours anymore. Now we barely know them. And that is the price of development. but even if a mix of cultures become Dubai's new culture, our values as human beings are the same. It's the way we practice them, through religions, that differs."   From United Arab Emirates Born and raised in Dubai

Hamed Sajwani

Entrepeneur

"The tradition of Ramadan has changed through the years. The family gatherings are still there but we don't exchange food with our neighbours anymore. Now we barely know them. And that is the price of development. but even if a mix of cultures become Dubai's new culture, our values as human beings are the same. It's the way we practice them, through religions, that differs."

From United Arab Emirates
Born and raised in Dubai

Mariam (Maria)    Shop attendant   "Three years ago I was lost, I was a naughty girl, I didn't have happiness. But then I found Islam and, by converting, I became a different person. I found my place. I was afraid that my family and friends would not accept me, but they saw the change in me and they supported me. They respect my fasting and it doesn't even feel hard."   From Philippines 7 years in Dubai

Mariam (Maria)

Shop attendant

"Three years ago I was lost, I was a naughty girl, I didn't have happiness. But then I found Islam and, by converting, I became a different person. I found my place. I was afraid that my family and friends would not accept me, but they saw the change in me and they supported me. They respect my fasting and it doesn't even feel hard."

From Philippines
7 years in Dubai

Majid Al Khamri    Owner/Trainer/Rider Endurance Horses   "This time of the year is for reconnecting with family and friends. Sitting on the majlis (tented meeting place), talking, praying Al Taraweeh and enjoying this special moment."   From United Arab Emirates Born and raised in Dubai

Majid Al Khamri

Owner/Trainer/Rider Endurance Horses

"This time of the year is for reconnecting with family and friends. Sitting on the majlis (tented meeting place), talking, praying Al Taraweeh and enjoying this special moment."

From United Arab Emirates
Born and raised in Dubai

Amal AlMutawa    3rd Culture Individual   "Like Christmas, Ramadan is slowly becoming more commercialized with the offerings and decorations around but spirituality is still there which is beautiful. Seeing restaurants offering abundant Iftars and Suhoors used to upset me, as I felt it was not the purpose of this month, but not anymore. It is still a way to bring people together. In our religion, the “ Salat AlRaham - صلة الرحم”  ( ‘ keeping in touch with family’)  is essential, so being social is also part of Ramadan's spirituality whether it's with blood relatives or friends who are the families we choose to have."   From United Arab Emirates 14 years in Dubai

Amal AlMutawa

3rd Culture Individual

"Like Christmas, Ramadan is slowly becoming more commercialized with the offerings and decorations around but spirituality is still there which is beautiful. Seeing restaurants offering abundant Iftars and Suhoors used to upset me, as I felt it was not the purpose of this month, but not anymore. It is still a way to bring people together. In our religion, the “Salat AlRaham - صلة الرحم” ( ‘keeping in touch with family’) is essential, so being social is also part of Ramadan's spirituality whether it's with blood relatives or friends who are the families we choose to have."

From United Arab Emirates
14 years in Dubai

MAdeel, Abdul & Zafeer    Construction Workers   "We look forward to the end of the working day to visit the  Ramadan Sharing Fridges . Many generous people come here everyday to fill up the fridges for us. It's the best we have seen in Dubai."   From Pakistan 4 years in Dubai    Note: The Ramadan Sharing Fridges is a UAE community initiative that provide free food and drinks to low-income workers during the holy month. Filled up daily by thousands of volunteers, each fridge feeds more than 100 people a day.

MAdeel, Abdul & Zafeer

Construction Workers

"We look forward to the end of the working day to visit the Ramadan Sharing Fridges. Many generous people come here everyday to fill up the fridges for us. It's the best we have seen in Dubai."

From Pakistan
4 years in Dubai

Note: The Ramadan Sharing Fridges is a UAE community initiative that provide free food and drinks to low-income workers during the holy month. Filled up daily by thousands of volunteers, each fridge feeds more than 100 people a day.

Malgorzata Outree    Musician   "During Ramadan, I fast to support my Muslim husband, to share with him the experience and the feelings; the same way he supports my Christianity by fasting during Christmas and Easter time.  Ramadan for me is the time to be honest to myself and to reflect on what I have done in the past year. Like a confession to myself to improve for the year ahead."   From Poland 3 years in Dubai

Malgorzata Outree

Musician

"During Ramadan, I fast to support my Muslim husband, to share with him the experience and the feelings; the same way he supports my Christianity by fasting during Christmas and Easter time.

Ramadan for me is the time to be honest to myself and to reflect on what I have done in the past year. Like a confession to myself to improve for the year ahead."

From Poland
3 years in Dubai

Mahir Julfar    VP Venue Commercial - Dubai World Trade Centre   "Ramadan is like a precious guest who came to visit: you have been a good guest, a good companion, we have respected you, we have given you a lot, talked to you a lot, appreciated life a lot. But like all guests, there comes the time to leave. And like all good guests, you can only look forward to their return."   From United Arab Emirates Born and raised in Dubai

Mahir Julfar

VP Venue Commercial - Dubai World Trade Centre

"Ramadan is like a precious guest who came to visit: you have been a good guest, a good companion, we have respected you, we have given you a lot, talked to you a lot, appreciated life a lot. But like all guests, there comes the time to leave. And like all good guests, you can only look forward to their return."

From United Arab Emirates
Born and raised in Dubai

Brigitta García     "As soon as I arrived to Dubai 20 years ago, I embraced Ramadan and the Islamic traditions as a way to keep the family together. Today I enjoy opening the doors to all my Latin friends and show them what Ramadan is about, a time for purification, forgiveness and integrity. A month to be closer to God and closer to ourselves."   From Mexico 20 years in Dubai

Brigitta García

"As soon as I arrived to Dubai 20 years ago, I embraced Ramadan and the Islamic traditions as a way to keep the family together. Today I enjoy opening the doors to all my Latin friends and show them what Ramadan is about, a time for purification, forgiveness and integrity. A month to be closer to God and closer to ourselves."

From Mexico
20 years in Dubai

Amir Hossein Golshani    Artist Calligrapher   "'Kullu Am Wa Antum Bikhair' May you be well every year."   From United Arab Emirates Born and raised in Dubai

Amir Hossein Golshani

Artist Calligrapher

"'Kullu Am Wa Antum Bikhair' May you be well every year."

From United Arab Emirates
Born and raised in Dubai

Faisel    Baker   "Ramadan is good, no matter where you are. But home is always home... especially during this time."   From Afghanistan 4 years in Dubai

Faisel

Baker

"Ramadan is good, no matter where you are. But home is always home... especially during this time."

From Afghanistan
4 years in Dubai

HAPPY END OF RAMADAN. EID MUBARAK!