Ramadan at Travel Counsellors

Ramadan, a month of profound spiritual significance for billions of Muslims worldwide, marks a time when traditional practices meet the rhythms of modern working life. As the pace of daily life shifts to accommodate deeper reflection, prayer, and community connection, Muslims navigate the balance between age-old traditions and the demands of contemporary work environments.

ramadan blog

The Essence of Ramadan

This sacred month's observance varies across cultures, but its essence—purification, self-discipline, and empathy—remains constant. In today's fast-paced world, Muslims like our colleagues Hamid Ali, Zahara D’Souza, and Basel Atassi adapt these timeless practices to fit their professional lives. We're privileged to share their Ramadan experiences, bringing to life the essence of this holy month through their stories and practices.

Hamid Ali's Ramadan Journey

Hamid, our Business Development Manager, values Ramadan as a chance to share his beliefs and identity. He mentions, "Being part of Ramadan is a beacon for others to learn more about my identity," highlighting the month's focus on kindness and empathy. His days start with Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, and end with Iftar, the evening meal with his family, strengthening their bonds. He also brings a light-hearted touch to his fasting story, saying, "It is a running joke amongst the Muslim community about how many times they've had the ‘not even water’ conversation!" But he's happy to answer and share his culture, no matter how many times the question pops up.

Zahara D'Souza's Family Traditions

Zahara, one of our Travel Counsellor business owners in the UAE, talks about how special Ramadan is for her family. Even though she's the only one fasting, everyone comes together at Iftar time. She says, "We open fast together—my kids help get the dates, fruits, and nuts ready, and then we all have dinner." They have a special tradition too: "We watch the cannon bomb explode on TV when the fast ends." This routine helps Zahara and her family feel connected to each other and their community during Ramadan.

Basel Atassi: A Reflection on Generosity and Balance

Basel, another of our Travel Counsellors from the UAE, describes the sunset hour during Ramadan as a divine experience that grounds him and fills his heart with joy. He emphasises the importance of connecting with family, relatives, and friends, particularly around the dinner table, where he expresses his creativity through cooking, especially when hosting guests. Basel also highlights his commitment to inclusivity, ensuring he remembers the less fortunate in his prayers and actions, including making donations. On managing work-life balance during Ramadan, Basel notes, "I try to allocate a little time for everything—family, friends, gym. But as Eid approaches, I adjust my priorities slightly, reducing time spent on cooking and socialising to focus on Eid preparations, though I never skip my sports routine, which keeps me healthy."

Support and Understanding: A Workplace Culture

The stories of Hamid, Zahara, and Basel show that fasting in Ramadan is about more than skipping food and drink; it's a time for self-reflection, connecting with family, and strengthening community ties. Hamid's humorous anecdote about fasting shows us that there's room for humour in the observance of Ramadan, making the experience relatable and human.

Hamid and Zahara feel the warmth and support at Travel Counsellors, which allows them to participate wholeheartedly in Ramadan while keeping up with their work responsibilities. Hamid appreciates the considerate yet normal treatment he receives, sharing, "I have always been supported during Ramadan, but I always want others to be as normal as possible around me – I only feel a little uncomfortable if people hide their snacks!" Similarly, Zahara values the understanding from her colleagues, highlighting how their thoughtful gestures make her fasting journey more manageable.

Learning and Growing Together

At Travel Counsellors, the support given to Hamid, Zahara, Basel, and others observing Ramadan reflects our values of Care and Humanity. It's not just about making their lives easier; it's about nurturing a workplace grounded in mutual understanding, respect, and support for diverse beliefs and practices. This commitment strengthens our 'One Team' spirit, showcasing how embracing our varied backgrounds and experiences contributes to our community.

In his Ramadan reflections, Basel shares, 'We say in Arabic "Ramadan Kareem," which means Ramadan is generous. My advice is to stay generous during Ramadan, not just with money or material things but also with our time, energy, passion, service, and support. Anything I do in Ramadan, I tend to remind myself to do it generously as much as I could.' This perspective from Basel offers us deeper insights into themes of reflection, community, and growth—values we cherish at Travel Counsellors. His story, emphasising generosity in all facets of life, encourages us to approach Ramadan with an open, curious mind, learning from the diverse traditions and cultures within our team.

This sense of curiosity not only broadens our understanding but also deepens our workplace connections, celebrating individuality while building a more inclusive environment. And as we navigate this learning journey, we keep the atmosphere joyful and respectful, bearing in mind Hamid's humorous take on fasting queries and maybe saving that desk-side biryani for after Ramadan! His words, not ours!

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