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Monday, June 21, 2021

Ramadan hiccups in Qatar: Overeating, traffic congestion and food shortages

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It appears that the first few days of the fasting month have led to a few bumps in the road for Qatar residents, including the annual hospital trip for those who overeat after sunset.

According to Arabian Business, Ahli Hospital is already seeing an influx of patients with stomach pains. The hospital admits an average of 10 to 15 patients a day in Ramadan who suffer from overeating, an Ahli staff member told the publication:

“They generally start arriving at the emergency room around 8-8:30pm in severe gastric pain and with repeated vomiting. They can’t stop vomiting without medication because there is an inflammation of the mucosa of the stomach.”

Heatstroke and illnesses from eating improperly stored food are also more common during a summer Ramadan. Qatar is hoping to reduce the number of those who fall ill by strictly patrolling eateries for food violations and encouraging residents to eat light and exercise at night. 

Food shortage

A more unusual hiccup seen this year was a shortage of food at some iftaar tents around Doha. The tents, which typically provide meals for low-income expats but are open to all, apparently ran out of dinner last night because one of its restaurant suppliers couldn’t meet capacity.

The Peninsula reports:

“It didn’t provide the quantities that we asked for,” said Ahmed Sultan Al Misfir. In-charge of iftar tents at the Zakat Fund, Al Misfir (said): “Right now I am in a meeting with representatives from this restaurant to sort out the problem.”

Overall, Ramadan tents number fewer this year due to the heat, as the government has recommended the practice be moved indoors to preserve food quality. But some charities have had difficulty finding schools and other venues that are big enough to feed as many people as they would in outdoor tents, according to Qatar Tribune.

Traffic snarls

Finally, complaints about traffic jams in Qatar hit a high yesterday as residents tried to grow accustomed to new shortened working hours. 

The timings to avoid appear to be 9am to 10am, and 2pm to 3pm, as residents report smooth sailing earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon.

How has your Ramadan been so far? Thoughts?

Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes only by Omar Chatriwala

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