Sunday, July 6

Spirit of Ramadan by the Shangri-la

As a young children we always grew up knowing that the month of Ramadan was a special time to look forward to; since it brought with it the spirit of community, blessings and open giving to those less fortunate. We grow up witnessing all that is Ramadan through our families and various incentives that are done within the community in terms of charity drives and donation events.
Yet on Friday I was in awe as to what was achieved by the Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah in that they were able to contain the spirit of this month with a gesture to the local community. When you talk about Ramadan what’s always associated with it is the spirit of giving and forgiveness, the sense of community that comes along with the holy month. The spirit of Ramadan was envisioned and brought to life last Friday with the essence that this month provides.
The local community was brought in to share the joys and blessing of this month by “Hand in Hand” a charitable event that envisions the local community as a means to generate support and donation for Dar Al Atta’a. The contribution collected on the day and the next upcoming events (on the 11th and 18th of July) will assist in purchasing much needed school supplies for underprivileged children.
There was nothing amiss when you walked into the venue at the Al Mazaar Souq in the Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah. The whole ambience within the hotel portrayed a warm environment of giving and charity. Dimmed lighting and beautiful decorations adorned every corner of the venue to bring forth the sense of community that comes with Ramadan.
Walking through the Al Mazaar Souq the significance of the essence of Ramadan is enhanced, with bowls allocated on each participants table in which visitors can deposit their charitable donation based on their inclination.  There are no words to describe the atmosphere during that day; you could witness the giving nature that was generated with such a community strengthened incentive.
The event theme may have focused on “Fashion & Style” but I think the sense of giving overcame all in that the local community were brought together to give to a bigger cause. The next event on the 11th of July would be the Qaranqasho (celebrated in mid-Ramadan) which be a fun filled event that will include a Family Bazaar, games and magic show for the children, face painting, henna art and the much anticipated Master Junior Chef in which children (from ages 8-12years and 13-19years) are encouraged to send in their recipes for a main and desert to the Shangri-la for a chance to be chosen to cook in the hotel kitchen with a professional chef. This actually made me wish to turn to my childhood days, so that I could be able to participate and be a part of something that I could only envision as an adult. Isn’t there a small part of us that wants to have a chance in being a chef for a day? Or cooking with a chef at a reputed hotel?

The last Friday of “Hand in Hand” will be on the 18th of July, and I write this part with a saddened tone, since it doesn’t only mean the close of on this charitable event, but the impending end of the holy month. The final event is dedicated to the non-government and non-profitable organization allowing them to showcase their activities and the various causes that they stand for in the local community. Also on that day Insta8Oman will be presented highlighting the utilization of Instagram as a social media tool to enhance business and everyday activities for the local community. Click here to read about Insta8Oman

I must say that most people would consider the Shangri-la as a distant destination, but with so much going on during this month the drive seems trivial in comparison to all that is on offer within the hotel. I am really looking forward to the upcoming events, since to me this is what Ramadan is all about.

Read about the Ramadan Contest to win a Iftar Dinner for 2 at the Shangri-la Muscat
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