Fasting footballers and abstaining astronauts: 10 toughest Ramadan occupations

Published July 8th, 2015 - 21:21 GMT

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Things can get tough in Ramadan. The sun is beating down, you’re throat is parched and the cigarette cravings mean that you’re grumbling as much as your belly is. But if you’re sitting in an office thinking you’ve got it the worst, think again.

We’ve found the craziest jobs to be doing during the Holy Month and compared to these arduous occupations, Ramadan sat behind a desk seems like a breeze.

When the month of fasting comes around, a lot of employees take off from work early, their bosses sympathizing with the empty stomachs. But for people working in life-or-death situations, that just isn’t an option. So for your local fire department or hospital ward, it’s business as usual, just way more hungry. Continue reading below »

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Running around the pitch for 90 minutes can be a sweaty and exhausting affair, but imagine doing that when you haven’t been drinking or eating all day! Last year Ramadan coincided with the FIFA World Cup, and some players for Algeria stuck to their fasts even while putting up a surprising fight against soon-to-be weltmeisters, Germany.
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10Running around the pitch for 90 minutes can be a sweaty and exhausting affair, but imagine doing that when you haven’t been drinking or eating all day! Last year Ramadan coincided with the FIFA World Cup, and some players for Algeria stuck to their fasts even while putting up a surprising fight against soon-to-be weltmeisters, Germany.

Enlarge
During Ramadan the weather can get super hot, but what if you’re also fighting an actual blaze? Firefighters who haven’t drunk a drop since dawn have to face smoke, flames and air so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your skin. On top of all that they’re carrying 20 kg hoses whilst running on empty bellies.
Reduce

Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10During Ramadan the weather can get super hot, but what if you’re also fighting an actual blaze? Firefighters who haven’t drunk a drop since dawn have to face smoke, flames and air so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your skin. On top of all that they’re carrying 20 kg hoses whilst running on empty bellies.

Enlarge
How do you fast during sunlight hours in outer space? When Sheikh Muszafah Shukor set off in a rocket during Ramadan, clerics had to come up with some new rules. Otherwise, whilst orbiting the Earth, he would’ve had to pray 80 times a day! Since being launched off the planet definitely counts as travel, he didn’t have to fast, but he tried.
Reduce

Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10How do you fast during sunlight hours in outer space? When Sheikh Muszafah Shukor set off in a rocket during Ramadan, clerics had to come up with some new rules. Otherwise, whilst orbiting the Earth, he would’ve had to pray 80 times a day! Since being launched off the planet definitely counts as travel, he didn’t have to fast, but he tried.

Enlarge
When working in life-or-death situations, you can’t let hunger get in the way. During the Israeli attacks on Gaza last summer, Palestinian surgeons still managed to keep to their fasts, even whilst working long and arduous shifts in difficult conditions, as the IDF dropped bombs outside.
Reduce

Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10When working in life-or-death situations, you can’t let hunger get in the way. During the Israeli attacks on Gaza last summer, Palestinian surgeons still managed to keep to their fasts, even whilst working long and arduous shifts in difficult conditions, as the IDF dropped bombs outside.

Enlarge
When the sun finally sets, everyone is in a rush to get to the iftar they’ve been invited to that evening. But someone’s got to drive them there, meaning it’s prime time for taxi drivers to make their money. So while most people are breaking their fast, cabbies are stuck behind the wheel with grumbling bellies.
Reduce

Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10When the sun finally sets, everyone is in a rush to get to the iftar they’ve been invited to that evening. But someone’s got to drive them there, meaning it’s prime time for taxi drivers to make their money. So while most people are breaking their fast, cabbies are stuck behind the wheel with grumbling bellies.

Enlarge
If not surrounded by temptations, many Muslims say fasting gets easier after a while. But for chefs, there’s no hope of banishing culinary thoughts from their minds. While in the Mideast most restaurants close during the day, Muslim cooks elsewhere have to fight off the urge to take a quick spoonful of the dishes they’re rustling up.
Reduce

Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10If not surrounded by temptations, many Muslims say fasting gets easier after a while. But for chefs, there’s no hope of banishing culinary thoughts from their minds. While in the Mideast most restaurants close during the day, Muslim cooks elsewhere have to fight off the urge to take a quick spoonful of the dishes they’re rustling up.

Enlarge
Ramadan road rage is a big thing in the Middle East. The hunger pangs of an empty stomach leave many driving wildly, especially when dusk has come and traffic is now the only thing between you and food. So Ramadan is paramedics’ busy season, as they deal with all the hunger-driven collisions.
Reduce

Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Ramadan road rage is a big thing in the Middle East. The hunger pangs of an empty stomach leave many driving wildly, especially when dusk has come and traffic is now the only thing between you and food. So Ramadan is paramedics’ busy season, as they deal with all the hunger-driven collisions.

Enlarge
If you’re being held in prison, you still have to try your best to stick to Ramadan according to Muslim scholars. But outside the Middle East, Muslim prisoners have a hard time, with some US jails refusing to shift their meal times, and one case in which a British prison kind of missed the point when they offered ham sandwiches for iftar.
Reduce

Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10If you’re being held in prison, you still have to try your best to stick to Ramadan according to Muslim scholars. But outside the Middle East, Muslim prisoners have a hard time, with some US jails refusing to shift their meal times, and one case in which a British prison kind of missed the point when they offered ham sandwiches for iftar.

Enlarge
For pilots, Ramadan can be a little confusing - if you’re moving all over the surface of the planet, when do you start and stop fasting? Most agree that while in the air they are exempt from fasting, but when they arrive, they should join in with the schedule of their fellow muslims at the new location, or stick to the timings of their hometown.
Reduce

Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10For pilots, Ramadan can be a little confusing - if you’re moving all over the surface of the planet, when do you start and stop fasting? Most agree that while in the air they are exempt from fasting, but when they arrive, they should join in with the schedule of their fellow muslims at the new location, or stick to the timings of their hometown.

Enlarge
Unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t observe Ramadan, meaning that natural disasters sometimes hit right in the middle of the Holy Month. In the Pakistan 2005 earthquake, many of the relief organisations were Islamic charities, so whilst doing urgent life-saving work the rescue workers were also fasting.
Reduce

Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t observe Ramadan, meaning that natural disasters sometimes hit right in the middle of the Holy Month. In the Pakistan 2005 earthquake, many of the relief organisations were Islamic charities, so whilst doing urgent life-saving work the rescue workers were also fasting.

Enlarge

1

Running around the pitch for 90 minutes can be a sweaty and exhausting affair, but imagine doing that when you haven’t been drinking or eating all day! Last year Ramadan coincided with the FIFA World Cup, and some players for Algeria stuck to their fasts even while putting up a surprising fight against soon-to-be weltmeisters, Germany.

Image 1 of 10Running around the pitch for 90 minutes can be a sweaty and exhausting affair, but imagine doing that when you haven’t been drinking or eating all day! Last year Ramadan coincided with the FIFA World Cup, and some players for Algeria stuck to their fasts even while putting up a surprising fight against soon-to-be weltmeisters, Germany.

2

During Ramadan the weather can get super hot, but what if you’re also fighting an actual blaze? Firefighters who haven’t drunk a drop since dawn have to face smoke, flames and air so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your skin. On top of all that they’re carrying 20 kg hoses whilst running on empty bellies.

Image 2 of 10During Ramadan the weather can get super hot, but what if you’re also fighting an actual blaze? Firefighters who haven’t drunk a drop since dawn have to face smoke, flames and air so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your skin. On top of all that they’re carrying 20 kg hoses whilst running on empty bellies.

3

How do you fast during sunlight hours in outer space? When Sheikh Muszafah Shukor set off in a rocket during Ramadan, clerics had to come up with some new rules. Otherwise, whilst orbiting the Earth, he would’ve had to pray 80 times a day! Since being launched off the planet definitely counts as travel, he didn’t have to fast, but he tried.

Image 3 of 10How do you fast during sunlight hours in outer space? When Sheikh Muszafah Shukor set off in a rocket during Ramadan, clerics had to come up with some new rules. Otherwise, whilst orbiting the Earth, he would’ve had to pray 80 times a day! Since being launched off the planet definitely counts as travel, he didn’t have to fast, but he tried.

4

When working in life-or-death situations, you can’t let hunger get in the way. During the Israeli attacks on Gaza last summer, Palestinian surgeons still managed to keep to their fasts, even whilst working long and arduous shifts in difficult conditions, as the IDF dropped bombs outside.

Image 4 of 10When working in life-or-death situations, you can’t let hunger get in the way. During the Israeli attacks on Gaza last summer, Palestinian surgeons still managed to keep to their fasts, even whilst working long and arduous shifts in difficult conditions, as the IDF dropped bombs outside.

5

When the sun finally sets, everyone is in a rush to get to the iftar they’ve been invited to that evening. But someone’s got to drive them there, meaning it’s prime time for taxi drivers to make their money. So while most people are breaking their fast, cabbies are stuck behind the wheel with grumbling bellies.

Image 5 of 10When the sun finally sets, everyone is in a rush to get to the iftar they’ve been invited to that evening. But someone’s got to drive them there, meaning it’s prime time for taxi drivers to make their money. So while most people are breaking their fast, cabbies are stuck behind the wheel with grumbling bellies.

6

If not surrounded by temptations, many Muslims say fasting gets easier after a while. But for chefs, there’s no hope of banishing culinary thoughts from their minds. While in the Mideast most restaurants close during the day, Muslim cooks elsewhere have to fight off the urge to take a quick spoonful of the dishes they’re rustling up.

Image 6 of 10If not surrounded by temptations, many Muslims say fasting gets easier after a while. But for chefs, there’s no hope of banishing culinary thoughts from their minds. While in the Mideast most restaurants close during the day, Muslim cooks elsewhere have to fight off the urge to take a quick spoonful of the dishes they’re rustling up.

7

Ramadan road rage is a big thing in the Middle East. The hunger pangs of an empty stomach leave many driving wildly, especially when dusk has come and traffic is now the only thing between you and food. So Ramadan is paramedics’ busy season, as they deal with all the hunger-driven collisions.

Image 7 of 10Ramadan road rage is a big thing in the Middle East. The hunger pangs of an empty stomach leave many driving wildly, especially when dusk has come and traffic is now the only thing between you and food. So Ramadan is paramedics’ busy season, as they deal with all the hunger-driven collisions.

8

If you’re being held in prison, you still have to try your best to stick to Ramadan according to Muslim scholars. But outside the Middle East, Muslim prisoners have a hard time, with some US jails refusing to shift their meal times, and one case in which a British prison kind of missed the point when they offered ham sandwiches for iftar.

Image 8 of 10If you’re being held in prison, you still have to try your best to stick to Ramadan according to Muslim scholars. But outside the Middle East, Muslim prisoners have a hard time, with some US jails refusing to shift their meal times, and one case in which a British prison kind of missed the point when they offered ham sandwiches for iftar.

9

For pilots, Ramadan can be a little confusing - if you’re moving all over the surface of the planet, when do you start and stop fasting? Most agree that while in the air they are exempt from fasting, but when they arrive, they should join in with the schedule of their fellow muslims at the new location, or stick to the timings of their hometown.

Image 9 of 10For pilots, Ramadan can be a little confusing - if you’re moving all over the surface of the planet, when do you start and stop fasting? Most agree that while in the air they are exempt from fasting, but when they arrive, they should join in with the schedule of their fellow muslims at the new location, or stick to the timings of their hometown.

10

Unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t observe Ramadan, meaning that natural disasters sometimes hit right in the middle of the Holy Month. In the Pakistan 2005 earthquake, many of the relief organisations were Islamic charities, so whilst doing urgent life-saving work the rescue workers were also fasting.

Image 10 of 10Unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t observe Ramadan, meaning that natural disasters sometimes hit right in the middle of the Holy Month. In the Pakistan 2005 earthquake, many of the relief organisations were Islamic charities, so whilst doing urgent life-saving work the rescue workers were also fasting.

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And this month also brings up some odd quirks for particular employees, like drivers dealing with Ramadan road rage, and pilots trying to work out when the sun sets.

Take a look at the worst jobs you could find yourself doing - some are understandably difficult, some are just plain bizarre…

Ramadan Kareem!

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