Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Natalie Long Edi­tor


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!

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