“The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.” (Quran 2:185)
When we first started working on creating visual materials for the FIND_Ramadan social media initiative, we didn’t expect that the process would become a real chance to explore our most intimate and nostalgic memories of the Holy Month. Our most interesting discovery was that Ramadan represents many different things both on the cultural and personal levels. It is not only a month of reflection and spiritual healing but also a concretely established manifestation of various cultural practices. It penetrates into every dimension of one’s lifestyle during the month; food, songs, entertainment, and spiritual practices.
Working on FIND_Ramadan was extremely enlightening to us in terms of the research involved. The creative process allowed us to investigate the historical and social origins of what seemed to be simple aspects of the Holy Month that are often taken for granted, such as the popularity of the Vimto drink or the association of the month with the lantern. This project was also a chance to open a conversation with family members and friends in order to explore their perceptions of the Ramadan experience.
In this project, we tried to include various media forms such as videos, photography, and sketches. Each idea called for its own medium. Drawing in specific enabled us to interweave imagination with intellectual statement, and to express the most personal elements of the experience.
What makes the FIND_Ramadan initiative extremely unique is that it allows people to contribute their own perception of Ramadan, opening a conversation between Find_UAE and a wider audience. We hope that this initiative will be a start for many similar efforts in the future.