For Bahrain's expatriate community, Ramadan means different working hours, rules and a
completely unrecognisable society. They respect the local culture and traditions, especially those who are fasting in what has been perceived as the hottest Ramadan to date. However, many fear roaming the streets minutes before Iftar due to the aggressive and dangerous
driving habits of fasting Muslims. They also hope the country could set up more entertainment
activities for children during Ramadan to keep them busy. TRA MY NGUYEN HOANG uncovers how expatriates have incorporated the holy month into their daily routine.
Name: Jenna Leamy
Nationality: South African
"I think with children it is more difficult because it is too hot to go outside or go to the beach and the water park is closed during the mornings. For children, entertainment is very limited. They become frustrated, which makes the parents frustrated. For me personally it is not really a problem, but sometimes you do get a bit thirsty and you want some water in public, but eating - it does not really matter. I have been here for seven years now so it does not faze me anymore. If I was new, maybe. I actually first arrived here in Ramadan, so that was a complete shock, but now I'm used to it."
Name: Steve Dixon
Occupation: Employee at an insurance company
"I'm a Christian, however, I respect the culture here. To be honest, it is quite incredible how the people follow the rules of fasting, especially not drinking water - considering the heat in Bahrain. I have a lot of respect for people who are fasting. It affects me very little and you have to be careful not to eat in front of colleagues. But nothing else really changes."
Name: Joseph De Divas
Occupation: Virgin Megastore staff
"The weather is extremely hot, even the water is hot. We are allowed to drink and eat, but in respect of others, we do not do it in front of them. Before I go to work, I usually eat something, because when you go out, there is no more eating."
Name: Theo and Corwell de Clerk
Nationality: South African
Occupation: Employee at Alwardi Group
"The main concern is the heat and obviously, for the Westerns, is that we need to drink some water to prevent dehydration. I've been in Bahrain for the last five years and this year could be, honestly, the hottest Ramadan I've witnessed."
Name: Fermamda Marcom
"I respect the culture. The children can still eat, so when they go outside and play and get hungry, it is fine. For me, it is not a problem. The problem is the weather. It is too hot and I can't bring the children outside to play, so I have to bring them to the mall all the time. I think Bahrain needs to have more entertainment during Ramadan."
Name: Weriel Cooper
"I am married to a Bahraini and Ramadan does not change anything at all. You just eat your food at a different time and at home, we can do what we like. However, everybody gets a rather bad temper during the day and the driving, particularly the half hour before Iftar, is even worse than usual and dangerous. If you are wise, you try not to go anywhere one or two hours before Iftar."