By Jou Pabalate
The beautiful thing about spending Ramadan or Eid in Riyadh for the first time is that you’ll never really have to do it alone.
Participate in Community Activities
If you’re fresh off the boat and the family is miles away, you can find comfort in taking part in the community. Visit mosques or get in touch with Da’awah centers ran by different expatriate groups. And most charities run events all month long, so volunteering will keep your days busy. Volunteer in the iftar tents as well. It will give you someone to eat iftar with and who knows what kind of interesting people you could meet?
Plan Your Weeks
Mark our words; you will get an abundance of invites from friends and colleagues for iftars and suhoors. We recommend having a calendar so you can block days you’d like to do your social calls. And don’t forget to return the favor. Hosting in Ramadan can be easier than you think, we recommend doing a post-iftar or suhoor gathering.
Take a Trip to Makkah and Madinah
There’s something about spending a few Ramadan days in one of the holy cities that’s just magical. Makkah especially gets really interesting, with people from all over the world visiting for Umrah. We would recommend doing so during the first half of Ramadan though, so you don’t get stuck in the crushing busyness that tends to spike during the last week of Ramadan.
Focus On Your Spirituality
Being alone gives you extra time to attend to your good deeds and helps you finish your khatmah. Also, use your time in the evenings to pray taraweeh and tahajjud. Really get into the spirit of what the holy month is truly about.
Don’t Be a Loner, Invite People Over
Okay, so you don’t want to be that friend that’s a forever guest, never a host. You’ll find yourself entertained by preparing for others, whether it’s by actually cooking or simply mastering the art of ordering takeout. Should your accommodation not be visitor friendly, you can always be the instigator of a “iftar foodie” group on Whatsapp and gather your friends for a weekly meal.