CORONAVIRUS:KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #43- The Beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan

April 23, 2020, Thursday

“I disagree. Now is ‘not’ the time to take action. Now is the time to be thoughtful, reflective, and prayerful. The action comes after that.”

– Craig D. Lounsbrough

 The religious practice of fasting during the Ramadan has always been one of the most fundamental parts of Islam, and this period has always been a time to celebrate and strengthen our relationship with God, our family, and our loved ones. It is also a time for reflection and repentance, and during the daytime, Muslims from all over the world flock to mosques for worship and muqabala. However, as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic, this practice does not seem to be a feasible idea this year.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 151 new COVID-19 cases with 55 additional recoveries, and one further coronavirus death being recorded. This brings to a total tally of 2399 cases, with 498 recovered cases and 14 deaths. Within the new instances, twelve were related to travel, with 9 being Kuwaiti nationals who traveled to the United Kingdom, and 1 Kuwaiti who went to the United Arab Emirates, 1 Kuwaiti who traveled to Turkey, and 1 Kuwaiti citizen who traveled to Egypt. One hundred and thirty-two of them had contact with confirmed cases with 5 being Kuwaiti nationals, 60 cases of Indian residents, 25 instances of Bangladeshi residents, 13 cases of Egyptian residents, 11 instances of Iranian residents, 3 Lebanese residents, 1 Pakistani resident, 1 Filipino resident, 1 N.K. resident, 1 Sri Lankan residents, 1 Nepali resident, 1 Uzbek resident, 1 Afghan resident, 1 Syrian, and one case of a Jordan resident. Other cases include 4 cases Kuwaiti nationals, 1 Jordanian resident, and 1 Pakistani resident.

 One thousand, eight hundred and eighty-seven patients are currently receiving medical treatment, while 55 are in the intensive care unit with 22 cases being critical; another 33 are stable in the last 24 hours and seven more cases being transferred to the ICU. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased. 

Schedule for the Beginning of Ramadan

Today marks the 43rd day of the quarantine and the 33rd day of the curfew, and as we approach the Holy Month of Ramadan, Kuwait’s Moonsighting Committee has recently released a statement to the press which informed the public that tomorrow Friday would be the start of the holy fasting for the Ramadan. This came from a decision after a committee meeting with the Chairman of the Moonsighting Committee Justice Youssef Al-Mutawaa this Thursday evening.  On this occasion, the Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Endowments and Islamic Affairs Dr. Fahad Al-Afasi extend his greetings toward his Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the government authorities of Kuwait, its citizens and residents as well as all the Arab and Muslim nations in celebrating this holy event.

Crescent Moon Sighting for Ramadan


Since the Holy Month of Ramadan is about to start, I have noticed people rushing to supermarkets, cooperatives, and other grocery stores in a bid to purchase the necessary goods and foodstuffs for the iftar, ghabqa, and suhour. For those who do not know, these are Islamic traditions wherein family, friends, and loved ones gather after sunset gather together to partake of a sumptuous meal. This year’s Ramadan, however, is expected to be celebrated differently due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially due to the imposition of curfew and other precautionary health measures designed to curb the rate of infection among the residents of Kuwait.

There are concerns that these measures may dampen the festive mood of the Ramadan meals, which are now limited only to immediate family members and not the usual large gatherings due to the social distancing protocols set by the Ministry of Health. Those who wish to go out and buy their groceries must also follow the stringent health protocols and the curfew, which is from 4 PM until 8 AM, which will start on the first day of the Ramadan.

The health authorities of Kuwait would also like those who wish to shop for food during the curfew to practice the social distancing measures in supermarkets and groceries. The cooperative stores will only be open from 9:00 and to 3:00 PM during Ramadan. There is also the option for online shopping, which has recently become the norm during the pandemic as it is arguably much safer than going out and risk being infected. For those who have curfew passes and earlier booked orders, cooperative stores will be open for online delivery from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

Since the Holy Month of Ramadan is about to start, I have noticed people rushing to supermarkets, cooperatives, and other grocery stores in a bid to purchase the necessary goods and foodstuffs for the iftar, ghabqa, and suhour. For those who do not know, these are Islamic traditions wherein family, friends, and loved ones gather after sunset gather together to partake of a sumptuous meal. This year’s Ramadan, however, is expected to be celebrated differently due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially due to the imposition of curfew and other precautionary health measures designed to curb the rate of infection among the residents of Kuwait.

There are concerns that these measures may dampen the festive mood of the Ramadan meals, which are now limited only to immediate family members and not the usual large gatherings due to the social distancing protocols set by the Ministry of Health. Those who wish to go out and buy their groceries must also follow the stringent health protocols and the curfew, which is from 4 PM until 8 AM, which will start on the first day of the Ramadan.

The health authorities of Kuwait would also like those who wish to shop for food during the curfew to practice the social distancing measures in supermarkets and groceries. The cooperative stores will only be open from 9:00 and to 3:00 PM during Ramadan. There is also the option for online shopping, which has recently become the norm during the pandemic as it is arguably much safer than going out and risk being infected. For those who have curfew passes and earlier booked orders, cooperative stores will be open for online delivery from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

This Thursday, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah released a statement to the press, which expressed his greetings towards the Arab and Muslims from all over the globe on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan. In his message, he wished for the safety and prosperity of all the Arab and Muslim nations during this momentous occasion. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad-Jaber Al-Sabah also received cables of congratulations from His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, and His Highness Chief of National Guard Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah. Similarly, she received congratulations from the Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Chairman of Kuwait’s Supreme Judicial Council, the Cassation Court, and President of the Constitutional Court, Justice Yousef Jassem Al-Mutawa.

 I also wish to express my sincere congratulations and best wishes to His Highness on this blessed and Holy Month of Ramadan. May he continue to have good his good health, to which I also wish his safety and prosperity along with the citizens and authorities of Kuwait. As we all remain in our homes during this quarantine, let us be remember that there is always good to be had in every crisis. As we have more time to ourselves, this year’s Ramadan serves as a prime chance to self reflect and celebrate our relationship with God, our families, and our loved ones. May all Muslims worldwide welcome this occasion with fasting and prayer as they leave all their difficulties to God.

Updates from the Philippine Embassy

In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 271 new COVID-19 cases with sixteen additional deaths and twenty-nine recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 6,981 cases with 462 fatalities and 722 recovered incidents. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait released a statement this Thursday wishing our Muslim brothers and sisters in the Philippines, Kuwait and around the world a blessed and socially distanced observance of Ramadan—the holy month of fasting, prayer, and reflection.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait wishes to thank Madam Iqbal Behbehani for her second round of food donations to POLO-OWWA, which will benefit around 500 OFWs affected by the coronavirus lockdown in Kuwait. Madam Behbehani’s previous contribution also produced about 500 relief packs for the food drive.

Food Donations from Madam Iqbal Behbehani

As the food donations continue to arrive from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, I would like to appeal to the compassion and understanding of the displaced members of the Filipino of Kuwait for the delays regarding the delivery. I understand the reason for their distress. However, it is also important to note that our Filipino Community Organizations and leaders are only volunteers in dispensing these food donations to their areas of jurisdiction and as such, they do not receive any compensation for their efforts and the costs they incur such as gas and transportation in helping dole out these relief packages. The Philippine Embassy and our volunteers are doing everything in their power in making sure that the aid is delivered to those most in need. I salute them for their services, and as such, we must also show appreciation to their sacrifices and efforts.

 As we join our Muslim brothers and sisters in celebrating the Ramadan, we, as members of the Filipino community in Kuwait, must always be mindful of our words and actions, especially during this holy celebration. I advise everyone to dress conservatively, refrain from eating or drinking in public, especially during the fasting hours, and also to partake of the silence during these hours of prayer and reflection as a sign of respect towards their traditions.

Ramadan is a time of the year that all Muslims look forward, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pass, we must resolve to treat our fellow human beings with care and compassion and do whatever is in our ability to ease their sufferings. We must put aside mere words and replace them with action for what we do in the present is a measure of who we are now and what we will be in the future. This crisis, too, shall pass, and as we spend our time in isolation, we must use this opportunity to build our inner strength, practice self-improvement, and help those who are less fortunate.

Kaniyang inilatag ang ulap na pinakakubong; at apoy upang magbigay liwanag sa gabi,Sila’y nagsihingi, at dinalhan niya ng mga pugo, at binusog niya sila ng pagkain na mula sa langit.Kaniyang ibinuka ang bato at binukalan ng tubig; nagsiagos sa tuyong mga dako na parang ilog.

Mga Awit 105:39-41

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Author

  • Gracia Amor, A Multi-Award winner blogger; Presidential Award; Mass Media Advocacy Award, Philippine Expat Blog Award, and Most Outstanding Balikbayan Award. An OFW and Investment Literacy Advocate. Her first book, the Global Filipino Bloggers OFW Edition, reviewed and launched at Philippine Embassy Kuwait. Became a certified Registered Financial Planner of the Philippines (RFP), with specialization in Stock Market. Currently, a position PH stock trader in PSE. Digital Marketing Specialist. A proud founder of Teachers Specialist Org in Kuwait TSOK, Filipino Bloggers in Kuwait FBK. A Poet and a Photo hobbyist in between.

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