Sylvia Sarkies Image Credit: Supplied

Sylvia Sarkies, 25, Egypt, communication specialist

Ramadan for me is a very special time of the year, despite me not being Muslim.

I remember the first time I actually felt the true spirit of Ramadan was a few years ago, I had just gotten my driver’s licence and was driving back home, but got stuck in a bit of traffic as it was close to iftar.

At that point it was pretty clear that people fasting would be a little late in ending their fast.

As soon as the adhan announced the end of fasting for the day, I saw the most beautiful thing happen; people actually got out of their cars and started offering whatever food they had in their cars to everyone, not just those that were fasting.

I found that to be really beautiful, an authentic moment that embodied the true spirit of the month.

The empathy and the love, knowing the need of someone next to you and actually helping them, understanding a person’s suffering and easing it, sharing not only material things like food or money, but also sharing people’s suffering.

I believe this is the real purpose and meaning behind Ramadan — to get closer to those around you on a more spiritual level.

The whole process of abstaining from food together for a period of time, followed by sharing a big table full of food where everyone and anyone is welcome to join, is a really special thing to have.

Imagine how beautiful it would be if it was Ramadan all year round.