Monday, February 20, 2017

May 18 17, 12:53 am

Brand new house worth Dh500,000 awaits OFW in UAE

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the UAE, who were named one of top remittances contributors for the Philippines, will have the chance to win a house in the UAE by sending money to their families back home.

PSSST… BAWAL ‘YAN! IT’S RAMADAN

by

Ramadan is a period of soulsearching as our Muslim brothers and sisters go on a fast from sunrise to dusk, refrain from earthly pleasures and cleanse themselves spiritually. This year, Ramadan is observed from May 26 to June 24. As guests to a Muslim host country, expatriates are expected to behave appropriately in a manner a visitor would in somebody’s home. Here, ergo, is a quick rundown of the dos and don’ts during Ramadan:

Don’t dance, sing or be intoxicated in public at any time. Dancing is allowed in the privacy of your home and events. But dancing in public is classed as indecent and provocative. Also singing in public places like the metro will get you in a bad light with the police. Most major nightclubs will close for Ramadan. Recalls Ed Abit, an IT guy, “I was at the train station on my way home and was listening to my playlist. I was silently singing along; the police approached me and asked me not to sing or murmur in public

• Don’t swear in public. Think twice before you swear in public. Blasphemy is frowned upon at the best of times, but during the Holy Month of Ramadan it’s particularly offensive.

• DO NOT eat, drink or smoke in public – Don’t even chew a gum! This, as a gesture of respect for Muslim sisters and brothers, who wake up before sunrise and fast the whole day while going about with their work. Newcomers to the UAE are often dumbfounded why they get the stares when eating in public during Ramadan; more often than not, they are advised by those who are on fast why they should refrain from doing so. Take it from Magdalena Inas Ablay, entrepreneur: “I am a Muslim and sometimes, I find it a little insensitive when people talk about food in front of me like what they’ll have for lunch. It is unintentional but sometimes, even if I don’t want to eat, I become hungry or crave for food.”

•Dress appropriately. Don’t wear revealing or tight fitting clothes in public, modesty is key during Ramadan. T-shirts are fine but spaghetti tops for women might be frowned upon in more public areas like the metro or malls. A lot of Pinoys have stories to tell about this, among them, Malen Flores, front desk manager: “I remember I was in the Union metro station; there was a Pinay wearing backless halter top, queuing in for the next train. She got a lot of angry stares. Later on, security approached her.”
Ramadan

• No to loud music! During Ramadan, don’t play loud music at any time in your car, on the beach or in the flats. You can play music but make sure it can’t be heard outside your car or home and use headphones on the beach.

Save yourself from all the hassle of traffic. Do avoid the earlier-than-usual after office rush hours. It can be hazardous driving during this time as the roads fill with people rushing to break the fast at Iftar celebrations. Remember many drivers will not have had anything to eat or drink all day so exercise caution. As Angelo Estera, fashion designer, said: “I avoid this rush hour. I don’t want to add stress to our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Show courtesy. Be mindful when greeting a member of the opposite sex who is Muslim, it is important not to offer to shake hands unless they extend theirs first – both men and women (more commonly women) may prefer not to shake hands with the opposite sex due to religious reasons, especially during Ramadan.

Feast with them. Do make the most of the community spirit and sumptuous food during the Iftar. It’s a great opportunity for an inter-cultural exchange.

Lastly, greet everyone, “Ramadan Kareem” to express oneness. Attesting to this is Roy Tamano, former president and current adviser of Maranao Community in the UAE. “We are very appreciative whenever we get heartfelt greetings from our Christian family and friends, same as we enjoy seeing you joyful during your special occasions,” he said.

Brand new house worth Dh500,000 awaits OFW in UAE

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the UAE, who were named one of top remittances contributors for the Philippines, will have the chance to win a house in the UAE by sending money to their families back home.

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