United Arab Emirates

wtd inviteIftar invite from WTD magazine’s design director, Lujain Abulfaraj.

I love Ramadan. Growing up in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, in a pretty secular family (with the exception of paternal grandparents, who had passed away long ago), I never fully experienced Ramadan until I moved to Dubai.

There is a serenity that is felt throughout the city. Days feel longer, but it’s never a bad thing. There is an opportunity for rebirth, renewal, introspection, and, perhaps, a reality check. It’s a great time to kick-start your physical, emotional, and spiritual routines. And, finally, there is a precious opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends over a meal.

2Maitha Al Mazrooei, editor, WTD magazine.

I recently attended a lovely Iftar (the evening meal when Muslims break their fast at sunset, at the time of Maghreb evening prayer) at Special Ostadi restaurant, having been invited by the much-respected and -loved team behind WTD magazine. A beautiful invite, complete with Ramadan prayer timings, went straight into the pile of invitations that are saved, never to be discarded.

WTD magazine was founded in 2011, and its name alludes to its mission of providing a platform of discourse to architects and designers. WTD is derived from the Arabic word wa-ta-d (n.), which means “a thin-headed nail used to anchor the tent to the ground,” and also “a small but essential component of a tent structure.”


This thing of anchoring was also felt at the Iftar, resulting in a wonderful amalgamation of guests from all kinds of religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, which reminded me of Surah 49, Al-Hujurat, Ayah 13, from the Holy Quran:

“O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might get to know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous. Allah is All-Knowledgeable, All-Aware.”

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Photos: Courtesy of Tima Ouzden

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