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  • Ramadan voices from around the Ogilvy Noor network: New York

    We’re continuing our Ramadan reflections from Ogilvy Noor around the world. Combining local insights with personal experience, it’s a chance to get close up on a month that brings together families, communities and enhances spirituality, through the lens of Ogilvy Noor’s deep experience in building relationships with Muslim consumers.

    You can read our previous blogs from Bangkok, the UAEIndonesiaPakistan, client Mondelez in Pakistan and Malaysia.

    Today, we experience Ramadan in the USA, from Ogilvy Noor’s Sabrina Malik who is based in New York.

    What does Ramadan mean to me?

    During my teens, my parents decided they would take my siblings and mef to Pakistan for a few years to get to know our family, culture and religion. We had been born in a predominantly Caucasian area of England, and were raised there.

    It was during these years in Pakistan that I first began to understand and observe Ramadan, fasting and prayers. It was a time full of happiness, and wonderment. The darkening of the skies and the call to prayer (Adhaan), indicated that it was now time to break the fast, and eat a succulent date and gulp down some water. The tradition and culture was for all the relatives to get together and break the fast with ceremony and plenty of delicious food. When we were young, Ramadan therefore became synonymous with relatives, friends and lots of food.

    How I observe

    Of course, as I grew older, I began to understand the significance and true meaning of fasting and Ramadan, and getting the family together. Fasting is supposed to teach us self-discipline, purify our minds and bodies, as well as teaching us sacrifice – and what it feels like not be able to eat and drink, and therefore, to be more charitable with what we have, to those less fortunate.

    Now that I live by myself in America, I observe Ramadan but it is a much more solitary affair, which makes me appreciate the times with my family. On the flip side, it gives me more time to reflect on all the blessings that I have received, and how I can help others, in turn.

    America

    During Ramadan, the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, the largest Islamic Center of New York, and NYU come alive, with people coming together to break fast, and pray, shoulder to shoulder, regardless of race or social status. It is one of the most peaceful and beautiful times of the year. At the Ogilvy office here, we will be hoping to raise awareness of Ramadan, and charitable giving, and also share the celebrations of Eid, to mark the end of Ramadan.

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