For many of us, the fact that it’s Ramadan may not even be on our radar.
Ramadan is the 9thmonth in the Islamic calendar and is a month where Muslims around the world fast between sunrise and sunset. As the days get longer, consider what I might be like not to eat or drink for about 14.5 hours.
Ramadan at work…
I have written about this before in the context of the workplace and allyship – things to consider when supporting fasting colleagues. You can read about these here.
Inclusion during Ramadan
This week, I want to highlight and act of inclusion that I came across in the news last week: A hotel in Dublin served a full breakfast to a fasting guest at 2:30am. You can read more about it here.
The hotel has received much praise. And although I think that what they did is wonderful, it saddens me that it’s such a big deal.
And, I understand why it is at the same time.
It’s easy to know what we know…
Remember, we each live in our own reality. We have intimate knowledge of what works for us, what’s important for us, and what we need. The challenge of inclusion is to extend a similar courtesy to those around us – to know and understand what is important, what works and what they need. In families this can be challenging, in workplaces it can be daunting – but that’s why safety and dialogue are enormous parts of this work.
There are some accommodations we may be getting better at:
- Asking about allergies and food sensitivities when planning catering
- Acknowledging child care responsibilities and offering flex hours
- Ergonomic office furniture
- Physical accessibility
But the need for many accommodations are not as easily seen, acknowledged or offered.
Ramadan and Inclusion
Ramadan is a big deal for Muslims who observe it. It lasts a month. Is it so hard to imagine taking the time to consider what it means for our colleagues, and adjusting what we do to make the workplace (or places that provide service) a more friendly, acknowledging and welcoming place?
The hotel is Dublin is to be applauded for their decision to offer breakfast before sunrise for a guest who was fasting.
And…wouldn’t it be great if that became an awareness and an option offered(not just given when asked for) during Ramadan for guests at hotels who are fasting?
Think about how that might feel for guests observing the holy month of Ramadan…