Life in Dubai

Road Rage Ramadan

Special thanks to 7 days for the above article. It was actually a huge inspiration for this one.

IMG_2091The holy month of Ramadan.

I debated on whether I should post this article.  From the title you can only assume that this will be a bashing of beliefs and behaviour of a certain sect of people.

I live in a Muslim country. That is a given. Let me be straight and clear right now that I’m not against Islam or any Muslim. Being a Christian, we are to respect the laws of the land and the faith of others.

Growing up in Dubai, one thing has become more clear to me. Driving here is horrendous. The majority of the motorists here are pushy, impatient, reckless and inconsiderate. And Ramadan is pretty much the month when they are at their worst.

It is pretty much a guarantee, that when Ramadan comes along, there is definitely going to be an accident on the road every single day. Some idiot is going to do something crazy just because he is in a hurry to get home to eat.

The one good thing about the whole month of Ramadan is that the working hours are less. Its mandatory by law, so most offices do close at 3pm. But Iftar or the breaking of the fast is at 7pm. So this actually makes me ask the question; why is everyone so impatient and in such a hurry to get home at 3pm?
A few years ago when Ramadan was observed during the winter months, because of the shorter days, the Iftar period used to extremely close to the time offices get out. So the number of accidents pretty much were double as people were in rush to get home to eat.

The bad driving is one thing, but what makes me even more mad is that they blame it on the fact that they’re fasting. I remember when I was learning to drive. At the time I was doing a personal fast on every Monday and Wednesday. When my lessons were on the fasting days, the instructor used to ask me if I had eaten anything or if I was fasting. If I said Yes, he said that he will go easy on me and that I can be excused for making mistakes. “EXCUSE ME?”.. This coming from a driving instructor? Even the police seem more lenient. Since when does a man’s stomach become a good excuse to endanger himself and everyone else on the road…?
Well, the locals here prefer to think that this is an excellent excuse. So they drive fast. Any tiny gap in between cars, they cut in without signaling. They won’t wait or queue up at traffic signals and bottleneck everyone. Drive on the wrong side of the road because the right side has traffic. You stop at a cross walk to let pedestrians cross, cars behind you will be horning their life out.

The patience and respect that is supposed to be there during this month is pretty much non-existent. It more apparent that Ramadan is definitely the month of Road Rage. With their short tempers and reckless driving, its easy to see why accidents happen.

The undeniable truth is that no matter how much they know that what they do is wrong, they’re unlikely ready to change things for the better. They seem to prefer things this way. So, we’re not going to stop seeing accidents like the one in the picture or in the linked article above. And that, is the real tragedy here.


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