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Foreign Story. Non-Muslims ‘respect’ Ramadan

JEDDAH: The holy month of Ramadan is a period when non-Muslim expatriates too abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk and also because it is healthy.

The expatriates are also impressed to see the hospi-tality and spirit of charity at its peak among Saudis dur-ing the holy month, local media has reported.

David, a Canadian national, prefers to observe the fast for most part of the day during the holy month out of respect for Saudis and also because it is good for health. "I fast, though not so strictly, because I find it healthy for the body. I try to eat in the evening. I like to eat Arabic food, and there is a restaurant next to the complex where I live. I especially enjoy Arabic sweets, despite their high sugary content," he said.

David said fasting is healthy but people shouldn’t consume a lot of food during iftar. "I respect the Muslim world in general and Saudis in particular. In the eve-nings, I show my appreciation for Arabic cuisine by tasting various foods. It's true that I don’t fast all day, but I try my best. And if I can't take it, I sneak some-where isolated to have a smoke or something light to eat," he added.

James, an Australian national, confirmed that he un-

derstands fasting as one of the pillars of Islam, and he respects Muslims for adher-ing to it. "I think refraining from eating or drinking during the day is very healthy because the daily routine changes. I enjoy watching Ramadan atmosphere and find fasting beneficial. But people shouldn’t eat too much during Iftar," he said.

Carle, a Filipino national, said there are some similarities between Islam and Christianity. "But we can fast whenever we want, and I feel happy when I fast because it brings me closer to God, which is similar to what Muslims go through during Ramadan," she said.

"When I fast I don’t feel hungry, I can even fast for two days, which is called complete fasting, but it's difficult to do that because I work," she said. She sees fasting as an important trip in the human life and a healthy behavior. She doesn’t eat or drink out of respect for Muslims and the law of the land.

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