Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why I Love Ramadan: Zakat (Charity)

The inspirational Saher Shaikh, Founder of Adopt A Camp
The pace of construction in Dubai means that wherever you look, there's a building site, and with it, teams of construction workers, usually from the sub-continent.  They work so very hard, often 12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week.  There's one building  going up that I can see from the gym window (like how I threw in the fact that I AM GOING TO THE GYM?!) and they are toiling away throughout Ramadan, in sweltering 50 degree heat and 90% humidity.  Between 6 and 7 pm, which is often the end of the day shift, Downtown teems with men, tired but somehow still seemingly happy, as they leave their sites.  One man and I in particular have been exchanging hello's/how are you's for the last six months, god love him

There's an amazing charity here called 'Adopt A Camp' who work to make the lives of these men just a little buit easier.  So last Thursday night, we decided to get off our backsides and help these lovely men who work so tirelessly to build our offices, apartments, roads and hotels. The charity had basically organised huge supplies of everything from socks to caps to washing powder to soap...the list was long (24 items) and we joined hundreds of people who put them into boxes to be donated to workers.

The girls and I were put onto quality control (the organisers knew Type A personalities when they saw them!) and we spent a happy few hours into the night checking items and taping boxes.

It was truly humbling evening, with all sorts of nationalities, ages coming together.  Even tiny children were helping.  You can get a feel for the event here.  Charity, despite bieng a pillar of Islam, is still a relatively new concept here, so it was truly inspiring to see so many people coming together to help a cause.

We left feeling geared up to give more back to our lovely city, so next month will see us volunteering at....an animal sanctuary! Yes, we will be animal bothering at the weekends.  I've made it clear that I shall be steering clear of the monkeys and iguanas, but anything furry with four legs is fair game! Updates to follow....

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