Iftar Parties a Boon for Lonely Expats
Saudi hospitality is amply portrayed at Ramadan iftar parties hosted by
philanthropists and business organizations in tents and through other means
for thousands of expatriate workers who stay in the Kingdom, away from their
One of the philanthropists, who wished to remain anonymous, told Arab News
that he has been hosting hundreds of bachelors for iftar during the holy month
in appreciation to the Almighty for all the comforts He has given him.
The common guests at these free iftar parties include limousine drivers,
bachelors who live in their own accommodation and passersby who hop in to
break their fast on time.
The menu for the iftar includes dates, soft drinks, laban, samosa, pattice and
cutlets as well as kabsa. The guests consume the refreshments on the spot
immediately during the iftar and they take the rice home to have it for suhoor.
Pakistani limousine driver Abdul Qader said that he does not have a specific
joint to break the fast. ''I go to the nearest iftar place, wherever I am at
the time he said, adding that the iftar saves his time and money during the
Every year, Obeid Specialized Hospital in Farazdak Street is home to hundreds
of Muslims who come to break their fast.
Comfortable accommodation is provided on the ground for breaking the fast. An
officer from the hospital said that the iftar program is an annual event and
that the hospital authorities find pleasure in hosting the guests during the
Mohamed Kabeer, an office boy at a private establishment, said that there are
10 people in his room and they all come to Obeid Hospital to break the fast.
''We do not have the means to prepare such rich food during Ramadan and this
gives a good opportunity to share delicacies with our colleagues on this
auspicious occasion,'' he said.
Another common sight during the iftar time is the people distributing iftar
packs among motorists at signal lights. Such distribution is carried out
either by individuals or small establishments as part of their charity
Arab News spotted a Jordanian man giving these packs to motorists with the
help of his three children. He said he distributes the food packets during the
weekend for two days. ''My children and I enjoy the charitable act and if
Allah gives me more, I will increase the number of days for distribution,'' he