Dagmar Symes –
General Manager –
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort –

Is Ramadhan celebrated in
your country? How?
Having lived in Lebanon for over 5 years, Ramadhan has become an integral month embedded within my traditions, even as a German. I love its unique ambiance and wholeheartedly embrace its spirit. Back home, Ramadhan is celebrated by our diversified Muslim community throughout the country. Coming from Mannheim, home to the second largest mosque in Germany, we grew up in peaceful coexistence, sharing cultures and traditions. The Muslim community, being warm and hospitable, open their homes and places of worship to break their fast with communities of all faiths.

What is a typical day like
for you during Ramadhan?
My daily habits do not really change. However, I try out of respect to adjust to the holy month to look after our most valuable assets, our team and guests alike.

Is there a particular Ramadhan
tradition you also do?
There is no better time than to give back to the community whilst donating zakat during the holy month. CSR (corporate social responsibility) has always been entrenched within me and within our company. Thus, during Ramadhan, we focus on charitable actions in our community in Jabal Al Akhdar and in Oman as a whole.

What food do you like having
during iftar or suhoor?
It is customary to break a fast with dates and Laban, a historical tradition passed down from generation to generation. After which I enjoy a nice hot steamy bowl of soup, followed by a freshly-tossed salad. This allows me to literally dive into Halwa Al Jazar, my new favourite sweet indulgence followed by a nice cup of Qahwa. Gosh, do I love it!

Is there a person (living or dead) who
inspires you to become a better person?
Having had the privilege of being raised in a family where upbringing and education are based on moral values, it comes somewhat naturally that my mother is, and always will be, my inspiration. She was of a very giving and generous nature, despite having endured huge hardships during the war. This experience contributed to my mother’s humbleness and spirit of sharing with the less fortunate and thus she is my guiding light.