Jun 05,2016 – JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
The holy month of Ramadan has just begun and the new government is taking measures to help people during the fasting month; it had, for example, made control of prices, which usually go up during Ramadan, one of its early priorities.
On the other hand, the Greater Amman Municipality promised to make the situation on the roads as smooth as possible, especially during the peak times that follow iftar.
It also issued restrictions on work hours in order not to disturb people.
Still, the long fasting fours will be taxing the health of many.
Concerned ministries, including that of health, have issued instructions and warnings on how to fast without compromising one’s health, so the guidelines are there for those caring to observe them.
On a different note, it was decided that public office hours during Ramadan will be from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon.
That is five hours, of which the first and last usually do not count because employees need to wake up properly in the morning and to prepare for leaving in the afternoon, and that takes some time, as most of us know.
The idea behind these proposed working hours is to facilitate fasting during the month and, presumably, give people enough time to rest from the hardship of long hours of abstinence in the hot summer days.
But the short working hours might end up encouraging people to eat and drink till the wee hours of the morning, come to work grumpy and with “licence” to not be productive, and then sleep away the many hours in the afternoon to not feel the hunger and thirst.
While that may help those who fast, it is far from the meaning of fasting intended in the religious script, which enjoins feeling for the poor and getting closer to spirituality through the act.
From an economy point of view, having an entire month spent doing very little, contributing minimally to the productive processes, can only result in slowing the economic growth, already low due to the situation in the region and the world.
The faithful should keep the spirituality of Ramadan uppermost on their minds.
They should seize the occasion to extend assistance to the needy and strengthen family bonds.
Ramadan is a time for introspection, a time when we should spare a thought for the poor, for refugees and for the abandoned and thus attempt to get closer to divinity.