ADDRESSING AN ISSUE
ate fever has hit me. It happens every Ramadan, of course – I can hold myself back at the dessert section of the buffet, but those boxes of dried fruit on the table? Decimated.
It didn’t help, of course, that the brilliant Arva Ahmed handed over two bagfuls of dates a few weeks ago for our photoshoot for last week’s cover story. You will be glad to know that we apply a zero food-waste policy in the office and are slowly working our way through all 27 varieties (khalas wins, hands down).
Luckily for me, when Arva wrote this week’s story about harees, she didn’t drop off 27 varieties of the thick meat-andwheat porridge at the office. I know this dish is very popular at this time of year, but I’m still working on my appreciation of it (really, I am: I had a ladleful at an iftar on Sunday night, the golden pools of ghee drawing me into its murky depths). If you’re a fan – or like me, curious, you must read her feature on page 61.
If it’s something more visually dazzling you’re after, don’t miss the second part of Jasmine Bandali’s Ramadan recipe series on page 54, in which she shows you how to create a table full of tempting dishes for those nights when you have guests.
Of course Ramadan isn’t only about food – it’s also about buying clothes. Or so we may be led to believe. For the last few years – but more this year than ever before – I am on the receiving end of press releases promoting ‘looks’ for the month. I get asked if I am doing Ramadan gift specials (we aren’t). I didn’t realise that was a thing – I (perhaps mistakenly) thought Eid was the time to buy gifts and new clothes. Correct me if I am wrong, but I sense a bit of a label being put on things. Office conversations about this got us talking about the recent rise of the ‘modest’ fashion scene, and what it really means when a brand brings out a range aimed at women who dress modestly. Are they cashing in on a look that’s always existed? Are they meeting a genuine need? And is this a creative and entrepreneurial outlet for a whole segment of the population that has until now been overlooked? Fashion editor Lindsay Judge looked into the trend in her feature on page 42 – and of course, we always want to hear what you think about the topic. Happy Friday!