Wednesday, March 22, 2023 | Sha'ban 29, 1444 H
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Dos and don'ts for a memorable Iftar

@lijucherianoman -

Ramadhan, the holy month is the month of prayer, blessing and forgiveness. It also comes with goodness and patience.

Lebanese etiquette expert Carmen Hajjar, a resident of Muscat, shares some tips and etiquettes to be followed during the holy month.

A certified etiquette consultant and International Protocol Instructor, Carmen makes every opportunity by way of TV shows or by social media to get her message across to a wider audience.

Carmen says the people must be certain of the spirituality of the blessed month. “We must reconcile and forgive if there are differences because this month is more about righteousness and charity.”

During the holy month, there will be many invitations among friends and parents. During such gatherings, there will be several dos and don’ts to be followed at the time of hosting an Iftar.

Some of the etiquettes to be followed during the fasting month are:

Dispatch invitations well in advance. Send cards or call on the telephone. Use WhatsApp to send details or reminders

· Check if the invitation is with children or without children for the Iftar

· Do not leave preparations for the last minute to prevent pressure

· Try to be present half an hour before Iftar to welcome the guests

· Decorate the house with Ramadhan decorations

· Try and assure the comfort of all attendees

· Do not open the gift in front of visitors. Call them the next day to thank for the gift

· Parcel the excess food to the poor and do not waste

· Enter Iftar with a gift, not empty handed even if you are invited to your mother’s house and ask the hostess what she wants

· RSVP to the invitation and confirm attendance or apologise, within 24 hours

· Do not come with a plus one or if the invitation is with no kids, don’t bring yours

· Maintain good table manners while eating

· Complement the food and give positive feedback to the hostess

Carmen, who says being an etiquette consultant and trainer is not an easy task to accomplish, points out that during Iftar meetings it is important that one dresses up modestly.

Care must also be taken to arrive half-an-hour before the Maghreb prayers and do not show up late.

She also calls to practice self-discipline and self-control. “Do not complain,” she advises.

Carmen is also a professional educator with extensive training and certifications from the most reputed international organisations. She also has trained Lebanese diplomats on private sessions, in addition to her strong social media following.

She loves etiquette and was passionate about it long before she made a decision to seek professional training and become a certified trainer from Europrotocol and British protocol.

“We live in a constantly changing world and unfortunately life is becoming so fast that most of the time we oversee so many important details in our day-to-day routine that may affect our reputation and image in a negative way. Hence, it is important to get help and guidance from a specialist like myself in order to assist many people on how to conduct their social or business encounters in the most beautiful and refined way,” concludes Carmen.

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