This post first appeared on Albawaba website in Ramadan 2014.
We’re one week into Ramadan - the annual Holy Month of Islam. New to the scene? Maybe you’re an expat in the Muslim majority Middle East. Or perhaps you’re a less observant Muslim, choosing to not fully engage. Feeling a little disoriented or even intimidated by this month-long tradition of spiritual contemplation, communal fasting and feasting?  Here are some reminders of what’s cool, what’s risqué and possibly a new perspective to help you sail through this lunar month of ancient observances.
The spirit of Ramadan has the power to pull in non-Muslims, a phenomenon where even non-believers can be captivated by the twin moods of discipline and appreciation.  Job obligations hibernate and our usual daytime social lives are shelved, but the month offers non-stop nocturnal celebration with friends and family, sharing special evening meals and watching Ramadan’s rich TV soap-opera line-up.
To fast or not to fast?
Let's throw some light on ways for the non-initiated to actually enjoy Ramadan! You probably know the drill on the basic Ramadan rules - the fasting from food and water from dawn till dusk,  but are you prepared for the mood, habits and extra frills of the month?
What to expect this month
Play your cards right as an outsider and check out Al Bawaba’s “16 life hacks for surviving” the best bits of the season. Enjoy the “second wind” that blows through Ramadan nights as people squeeze in all the life they can until fasting resumes at dawn.