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Sri Widodo, 49 years old Indonationa working in hospitality industry. Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Image Credit:

Dubai: “Ramadan to me is a great opportunity to learn more about my religion and its teachings like charity and about how to get closer to God. It’s a time for spending more time in prayer in the masjid and other activities related to Islam,” says Widodo, an Indonesian expatriate who has been in the UAE for 15 years.

“The learning journey, because Ramadan only happens once a year, is continuous.”

Ramadan, he said, has helped him spend more time in reading the Quran.

It is beneficial to me and to the community if we carry these positive learnings from Ramadan into the months that follow ...

- Widodo, Indonesian expatriate

“When we are working and interacting with people, we have schedules and appointments. I couldn’t always keep my appointment with God (through prayer) in the past because I have an appointment with man (colleague or friend). That has changed now. I find myself asking to be excused when prayer time comes. This is my commitment.”

Ramadan teaches us to undertake a lifelong improvement of one’s self, said Widodo. “It is beneficial to me and to the community if we carry these positive learnings from Ramadan into the months that follow and not abide by them only during Ramadan.

“Praying more really helps. It improves my thinking, my interactions with people. Through regular prayer, I’ve become more peaceful and optimistic,” Widodo added.

Now, he said, before he does something, he always first thinks about its consequences. “I want to become a better person every day, every month, every year. It’s like the journey of life towards becoming a better person,” he said.