As we bid the month of Ramadan goodbye, we embrace once again its unique spirit and values, joined by Emirati actress and TV presenter, Mahira Abdelaziz who shares what she cherishes the most during the month and her experience with the latest Montblanc Ramadan campaign.
The campaign explores the inspirational power of a library as a place of enlightenment where knowledge travels through time and is passed on to future generations. A message which resonates with the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, encouraging us to be inspired and to share our experiences with others.
What have you learnt from celebrating Ramadan all these years?
Ramadan is not just about fasting, it's about nourishing one's soul. For me, It’s a month of discipline, self-reflection, and connection with God. It has taught me patience, self-control, and empathy for those less fortunate as I appreciate the blessings that surround me.
I watch my daughter Yasma eagerly look forward to the holy month each year as she insists on doing a ‘half-fast’ to imitate the adults in our family. This year, I taught her to write down the things she is grateful for each day before we break our fast, and we bond by walking to our neighbourhood mosque to make donations. These are small daily actions that I hope over the years will become treasured traditions and memories that will stay with her.
What do you cherish the most out of Ramadan traditions and why?
For me, one of the Ramadan traditions I cherish the most is Suhoor gatherings which have become a calendar staple not only between friends and family but have even been adopted by companies and brands. It’s a great time to celebrate togetherness and spend some quality time with loved ones whom we don’t get to see much during the year due to the fast-paced lives we all live. I see more friends and family during this one month than I do during the entire rest of the year! Also, one of the things I cherish the most is the sense of unity, when people in the same city gather to eat at the same time at the sound of the Ramadan Iftar Cannon and prayer call. I think it’s probably the only time of the year when you can be sure that no one will be late for a gathering!
How does the Montblanc Ramadan campaign resonate with the spirit of the holy month? And how does it reflect on the values of Ramadan and your own?
Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said "Seeking knowledge is a requirement upon every Muslim", and the aim behind the Montblanc Ramadan campaign is to focus on the importance of libraries in transferring knowledge, art, and culture to the next generation, and to protect the cultural heritage through campaigns that contribute to the preservation of literature and knowledge.
What’s better than raising awareness about knowledge during this holy month?
The slogan behind this campaign is to express your thoughts through “Inspired Writing” in the inspirational space of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library.
I have been overwhelmed with the incredible feedback we have received for this campaign; it was a true privilege to participate in a project that honours the sacred time of spiritual reflection, which is articulated so beautifully through the storytelling of the legacy of Montblanc.
How was the experience of delving into the world of creativity with the Gazzaz brothers?
When your goals align with the goals of the team you’re working with, magic happens.
My experience with the Gazzaz brothers was one of a kind. We related to one another and shared similar opinions. Some people may not know that I hold a master’s degree in architecture. And funnily enough, we discovered while filming this campaign, that the Gazzaz Brothers and I both studied architecture at McGill University in Canada.
How, in your opinion, does the holy month inspire and enlighten us?
Ramadan has been a great teacher for me over the years, teaching me to practice forgiveness, kindness, and reflection. At the end of the day, what we all hope to achieve is a commitment to do better, to give back, to be patient, and considerate, and to forgive and be forgiven. My spiritual side is elevated in ways that feed my soul and acts as my armour for the year ahead.
I try to detox my mind and soul from any negativity and search for inner peace.