Tag Archive | Ramadan

Echoes of Sacraments, Iftar, This and That

In recent weeks echoes around my neighbourhood have been on the calm and reflective sided.

From my children receiving their Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, to The Ramadan season, it’s been a time of spiritual inflections. It has been a time of expressions of love, kindness, and generosity that cuts across boundaries of faith or ethnicity. I see people of all works of life come together in ways that make my heart full and appreciative of humanity.

Interestingly, my personal life hasn’t gotten any slower though the tempo around the region is slower and the blazing heat is intense.

 

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Controversy…Just so you know.

Yesterday, I published a post on Ramadan Kareem and to my surprise, I received a couple of comments asking me why I should be celebrating Islam?

In the past 1450 years since Muhammad, over 180,000 people have been killed in the name of Islam per year. Thats 250 million people killed to advance Islam. How can you celebrate Islam?

Sometimes, I am totally befuddled by the whole religious brouhaha. I can’t lay claims to being the best Christian out there and as a matter of fact, I don’t believe in practising religion for those who wish to know.

This is my response to this comment below:

I’m doubtful if there’s any teaching of Christ that requires me as a Christian to segregate myself from others due to their religious beliefs. I’m no better than any other misguided person out there and I think the biggest problem that the World has is that the sons of men have turned the word of God into a weapon for judgement and battery of each other. I don’t celebrate Islam because I am not Muslim, I however, recognise the fact that I live in the Middle East where most of my neighbours are Muslims and they are decent folks whom I respect, irrespective of their choice of belief. I am not interested in practising religion but my question to myself would always be ‘what would Jesus do?’ We preach love.

I believe in practising what the teachings of Jesus Christ tells me in my Bible and his greatest teaching is LOVE and to be at peace with all men. God is Almighty in Himself and he doesn’t need me to wage wars for him. He is All-sufficient. My part of the deal is to tarry with him, to walk in his ways, to be a vessel of honour and to lead others to Christ through gentle ministration.

Sometimes, I think that we lose sight of the important things while dwelling on things that leave questions to be asked.

I’m sorry that I have to throw light on this issue, but sometimes, we just have to speak.

My sincere thoughts.

Jacqueline.

Let’s get a little lost shall we?

vehicleIn a lighter mood:

Did someone say that Houston is hot or hawt during Summer?  They should try Dubai. There is the Sun, then Planet Dubai next to the sun, and Planet Earth with every other city a million miles away.

We arrived Dubai/UAE after 16 hours flight across continents from the US, so thankful for a safe flight. These days when you take off to somewhere, you simply hope that the pilot/co-pilot does not have any form of meltdown.

As we head out in search of our rental. The heat slapped us in the face with a punch thrown in too! Yet, it was sundown!sweating sun
No matter. We loaded up and set off to town, ready to settle down.

It’s Ramadan (no public eating until iftar).
It’s blazing hot.
We are hungry, jet-lagged and cranky.

Traveling with family can be a whole lot of fun when you get past the hectic leg of things and to make things easier, we always take a car rental armed with our GPS and generally try to find our square roots.20150703_235802

Taking the metro or taxi, with children in tow, does not really cut it for me. I don’t enjoy staring through the windows with my nose pressed to the glass, watching the city scape zip past as we zoom by. With a rental at your liberty, you can immerse yourself just a little bit more.

Luckily the fast had just been broken for the day, so we located the closest mall and delightfully found a Five Guys fast food, where we tucked into some real greasy burgers and fries à l’américaine.20150703_214325

You would think that with the blazing heat and Ramadan, that the city would be slow and empty. Not at all! The mall park was filled to the brim. Human traffic from all walks of life flowed in pairs and little groups and for a people watcher like me, (is there a hobby with that title yet)? Its simply a delight to my imagery senses.

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A full tummy, peppered with jet lag and heat equals to potent sleeping pill. Off we go to find our new abode for weeks to come.
The pilot (dear husband) sets off confidently, whilst I settled beside him to admire the shiny buildings of architectural delight, but soon enough my eyelids droop from gravity of sleep.

Half an hour later, I crank open my eyes and we were nowhere near our destination. Our poor GPS – which by the way, we had used on a previous visit – was thoroughly confused and was not updated due to the massive construction and upgrades going on in the city. It is a city of consistent newness and growth; getting ready to host Expo 2020. Familiar routes become a maze of metro networks, new hotels/buildings, road expansions and deep excavations.

“What’s up?” I asked in a croaky voice.Dubai

“I am trying to locate our hotel, but the GPS is not picking up the proper directions”, he responds.

“Okay”. “I have a map, lets see if that can help”, I offer. Mind you, I am not sure that I will make the Worlds list of cartographers or map readers – but at least I can try 🙂

Me: Map reader

Pilot: Husband

And we manage to circle an area a couple of times until in exasperation I suggested that we should simply stop by a metro station and get one of the empty cabs to direct us, otherwise we just might find ourselves in Kuwait before we know it.

My suggestion is met with silence. A cue for me to fold my map and snatch a few minutes of shut eye. I knew we would get there anyhow.

What is it with men and asking for directions?

Is it in their genetic make-up not to ask?

We ran around a little more, and eventually we were adopted by a taxi escort, that drove in front of our vehicle until we got to our destination, and in the spirit of Ramadan, I guess, he did not collect even 1 dirham from us, waving a cheerful goodbye as he left.

Wilted like two day old vegetables, we gladly hopped into our beds after all protocol and for the next several weeks or more, we shall be calling this shiny place, Home.20150701_120007

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Sun image: courtesy http://www.oc-breeze.com