Image Credit: Hanif A Kalmata

The Dubai Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre’s (KMCC) iftar tent in Al Baraha area in Dubai was popular with labourers and low-waged workers during the holy month of Ramadan. They come in hundreds every day to the air conditioned tent to end their fast after a long and hard day, especially with the temperature reaching up to 50 degrees.

KMCC has been setting up an iftar tent in its premises for two years now. Last year, up to 1,000 fasting believers availed the services throughout the month of Ramadan and the numbers increased to 1,500 this year.
At 5.30pm we used to see people queuing up at the gates. What was awaiting them were delicious packets of biryani, a platter of cut fruits, dates, juices, lassi (youghurt-based drink) and water. KMCC volunteers had divided in seven batches of 15 members each and took turns to serve people with utmost care.

Before iftar, religious lectures and classes were arranged. People from various nationalities sat downn for iftar together. Most of the days, special guests were invited, along with KMCC office bearers, to join them for iftar.

Often we saw that the number of people who came exceeded the expected numbers — some people were accommodated outside the tent with special seating arrangements for iftar.

The reader is based in Dubai.

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