Vinod Nambiar, a UAE expat, has been observing Ramadan fast for the past 22 years to show solidarity with the Muslim community in the country. His fasting journey started in 2001 when he was working in Mallapuram, India, a village in Thanjavur district, Kerala, with a significant Muslim population. Initially, he didn’t understand the significance of Ramadan and struggled to find food during fasting hours. But, gradually he began to appreciate the essence of Ramadan practices and befriended the imam of a local mosque who inspired him to continue fasting.
When Nambiar moved to the UAE in 2004, he continued his tradition of fasting, and it has now become a habit that he observes from the bottom of his heart. He is now well-known among various organizations in the UAE for his traditional notions of the good life. He has even become involved with the company’s CSR initiative and educates workers about the importance of financial literacy and not consuming tobacco. Nambiar can now go without food for an entire day without feeling any exhaustion, and he and his wife practice intermittent fasting for 16 hours, living only on water.
During Ramadan, Nambiar chooses to break his fast at labour camps and takes his office management team with him. He strongly believes that one should strive to do things differently in life to achieve immense satisfaction. Nambiar is a father of two and says that he does not want to force his children to follow in his footsteps but hopes that they will embrace fasting practices themselves.
Nambiar’s story is a heartwarming one of how a simple gesture of solidarity with a community he admired turned into a life-long practice that he cherishes. His story also highlights the importance of cultural understanding and religious harmony, which is crucial in today’s diverse world.