To All Employees:
One of the unique experiences of working in the Middle East is the opportunity to personally experience different customs and peoples. The Middle East has a long history of deep religious practices. As an employer, we honor and support local customs and requirements in accordance with religious practices. Observance of Holy Ramadan is a major religious event in the Middle East and supported by *** in accordance with local laws.
Many of our employees may understand and have experienced the Ramadan experience. The following are questions that may assist all of our employees in understanding and appreciate the meaning and practice of Ramadan.
What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is during this month that Muslims observe the Fast of Ramadan. Lasting for the entire month, Muslims fast (sawm) during the daylight hours and in the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family. It is considered to be a time of worship, contemplation and a time to strengthen family and community ties. The appearance of the new crescent moon signals the beginning of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the new moon of the next month, Shawwal. The new moon must be seen and reported by at least two trustworthy witnesses. Because of this requirement, neither the beginning nor the end of Ramadan can be determined in advance. Depending on the visibility of the moon, Ramadan can begin on a different date in different parts of the world.
What is meant by Fasting (sawm)? The sawm is act of deeply personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of consciousness. Fasting begins each morning and continues until sunset. Fasting consists of abstinence from all food, drink, gum chewing and any kind of tobacco use during this time. It is considered violation of law to drink, eat or use tobacco in public during this period of time daily. Please be advised that you are subject to arrest if you violate public fasting requirements.
When will Ramadan begin? Ramadan will begin on or about 10 or 11 August 2010.
When does Ramadan end? When the first crescent of the new moon has been officially sighted by a reliable source, the month of Ramadan is declared over, and the month of Shawwal begins. Ramadan ends with the festival of Eid al-Fitr. Literally the "Festival of Breaking the Fast," Eid al-Fitr is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations. It is a joyous time beginning with a special prayer, and accompanied by celebration, socializing, festive meals and sometimes very modest gift-giving, especially to children.
As a business *** will initiate temporary measures to accommodate these needs and requirements for the period of Ramadan. We are advising all employees of *** to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours while outside of your residence and moving about in the civilian community. Generally first light begins at dawn and ends at sunset.
Violation of this practice could result in your being arrested. Please remember that the Muslim community and local officials are serious about the fasting requirement.
We request that Individuals working on US Military installations consider their Muslim work partners' Ramadan observances. If you have work partners who are observing Ramada fasting, please refrain from eating in their presence in the work area during their established work schedule. The most courteous practice would be eating in an established break area if possible.
At the *** offsite facilities, special break areas will be established away from the work areas to insure that fasting is going on in general areas.
All eating, drinking and using of tobacco products will be restricted exclusively to this designated area.
We request that All *** employees respect the Ramadan observance. Please consult with your site and project managers for additional information and adjustments that are being put in place in observance of this religious period or if you have any additional questions. We request that All *** employees respect the Ramadan observance.