Six last-minute Ramadan preparation hacks

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Prepare for your iftar meals well in advance to avoid any mishaps. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 May 2018

Six last-minute Ramadan preparation hacks

DUBAI: With last-minute preparations for Ramadan in full swing across the Muslim world, try these tips to get your home ready for the holy month.

Clean out your cupboards

Check if you need to buy anything new, donate items to the needy and get rid of any expired goods you may have lurking in your kitchen.
Make a list
Make a list of the items you will frequently need during the month — including milk and eggs — and a separate list for items with a long life span, such as dates, nuts and coffee.
Plan your meals
Write up a list of the items that you dish up on a daily basis — spring rolls, kibbeh or pakoras, for example — and prepare a large amount of them in advance. Simply store them in separate bags in the freezer and fry them up as needed.
Freshen up the living area

Check your living room, dining table, side tables and sofas for any scuff marks and general wear and tear that can be fixed in a jiffy.
Get washing
Wash and mend your kaftans, abayas and kanduras to make sure you are ready to attend the onslaught of iftar and suhoor gatherings.
Donate your pre-loved clothes

Clean out your closets and donate any clothes that are in good condition to your local charity center.

My Ramadan with Safi Enayat: Experiencing the Holy Month in Copenhagen

Updated 21 May 2018

My Ramadan with Safi Enayat: Experiencing the Holy Month in Copenhagen

  • Safi Enayat came to Copenhagen as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2001
  • This Ramadan, he’s hosting a pop-up iftar with chefs from Baker & Spice Dubai

COPENHAGEN: Safi Enayat came to Copenhagen as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2001 and found a job washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen before working his way up to become head chef and a restaurant owner in his own right. His cooking is a reflection of the diverse cultural influences that have characterized his life, from the traditional Afghan dishes with a modern twist he cooks for friends to the Indian-inspired cuisine served in his restaurant chain, as well as the international fare he has encountered in Europe. This Ramadan, he’s hosting a pop-up iftar with chefs from Baker & Spice Dubai which aims to attract a mixed crowd of Muslims and non-Muslims to break bread over delicious Arabic food.

Read on to experience Ramadan in the European city in his own words...

Everyday life goes on as normal during Ramadan in Copenhagen because the Muslim community here is not that big. In general, people congregate at the city’s larger mosques to pray and break the fast together. There are a few larger events that I look forward to, such as Iftar på Rådhuspladsen, when everyone gathers in City Hall Square and brings a dish to share with their family and friends. It’s an amazing feeling, sitting on the floor in front of this beautiful venue with people from all cultures — Danish, Afghan, Arabs… usually several hundred people attend. Here, you have the right to enjoy your religion as you want and while Danes might be curious to know why we fast, they are very accepting. Last year one of my Danish friends called during Ramadan to say he was fasting for the day to understand it better. I was touched. I think it showed a lot of respect for my religion, which is something I often find here.

Since coming here, I feel like Ramadan has become more visible, people are more aware of what is going on and more interested in why Muslims are fasting and why they do it for so long. It’s a friendly interest. With the long days at this time of the year, many Muslims in Denmark choose to take some of their summer holidays during Ramadan so they have less work and can enjoy the Holy Month.

We’ll be hosting a pop-up iftar called The Opposite Kitchen with Baker & Spice from June 2 to June 8, which is something new to the city. We’ll invite everyone from all cultures and religions to come and learn about the meaning of Ramadan. For me, the beautiful message behind Ramadan is that when you fast, you can see what it’s like for someone who is starving on the other side of the world and can’t put food on the table, and I think it’s important to understand that. I also think that food is an important way of bringing people together. It’s something we all share and enjoy. I found my way into the Danish community through food, it was an easy way to become a citizen of the city and a part of life here. I’ve been here for so many years that this is home for me now.