Iftar Parties a Boon for Lonely Expats

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Arab News

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 families.

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 holy month.''

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 holy month.

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 programs.

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 said.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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