United Airline
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Airlines From Islamic Countries

Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:34 pm

I understand that Malaysia Airlines, Qatar, Emirates etc are under Islamic countries. However, do they serve anything like pork? Any difference between their food and other ordinary airlines?

 
od-bwh
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:42 pm

Emirates, and Qatar as I blv, serve Alcohol, altough airlines like Kuwait Airways and Saudi Arabian airlines do not due to Islamic regulations.

However, meals on all arab/moslem airlines (incl. MEA) are moslem meals, i.e., do not contain pork, ham, or bacon, and also are not cooked with alcohol (wine or whatever, but vinegar is allowed). This is considered b'coz the majority of travellers on these airlines do prefer moslem meals due to the reason above...
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mrniji
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:47 pm

I would be very surprised if they did - actually it is impossible. I took GF once, they served alcohol but only Halal meat
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
LVZXV
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:50 pm

THY Turkish Airlines certainly don't. And considering Turkey's secularism, if THY don't serve pork, then why would EK, MH or any of the others? Interesting how some serve alcohol, as has been mentioned...

Regards,

ZXV

How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
 
Spike
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:51 pm

You can get as pissed as you like on GF untill you get anywhere near Saudi or American airspace. rather strange that the US is an extension of Saudi Arabia.
 
od-bwh
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:54 pm

I didnt get what u mean, Spike...
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mrniji
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:09 pm

You can get as pissed as you like on GF untill you get anywhere near Saudi or American airspace

TBH, I am quite sure that they served alc throughout my flight to MCT, also over Saudi Space
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
ME AVN FAN
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:11 pm

LVZXV; alcohol is prohibited by the Koran, "medicaments" however are NOT. and red wine is good against too low blood pressure (etc) !
 
mrniji
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

and red wine is good against too low blood pressure (etc) !

So what are Beer and Martini good against?  Big thumbs up
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
United Airline
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:17 pm

What about EK and MH? Do they serve pork and wine?
 
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AirIndia
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:19 pm

many leading airlines flying out or into islamic destinations (including singapore) offer a choice of halal and non-halal (jhatka) for the non-veg pax...
 
prosa
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:20 pm

You can get as pissed as you like on GF untill you get anywhere near Saudi or American airspace. rather strange that the US is an extension of Saudi Arabia.

GF no longer flies to the United States.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
daumueller
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:37 pm

ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to inform you, that alcohol is not permitted on board of this aircraft. drinking is also not permitted in the lavatory  Smile
 
afay1
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:54 pm

I find it hard to believe Aer Lingus and Aeroflot stop serving alcohol 4 hours before they get to US airspace.....
 
chrisrad
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:09 pm

MH does indeed serve alchohol, infact they have an entire drinks section at the back of the food menus they hand out. However they don't serve pork, but usually have 3 choices in economy class meals.
Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
 
MAS777
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:26 pm

Malaysia Airlines serves Halal food only which in effect is pork-free and all food has been prepared under strict Islamic law. Its rarely a problem since pork is rarely served on most airlines anyway. Most airlines today alter their menus to be sensitive to local culture anyway - so even when BA flew into Malaysia - they often substituted their sausages and bacon with chicken sausages and turkey bacon.

Alcohol is still served on Malaysia Airlines as alcohol is not illegal in Malaysia and despite being an Islamic state, a large proportion of its population are not Muslim and alcohol is widely consumed in most parts of the country without much of a problem. In fact, the wine cellar of Malaysia Airlines is actually quite good.

With food - its quite a different issue as it is easier (and more cost effective) to build kitchens to prepare Halal food only rather than to have two separate kitchens as would otherwise be necessary.
 
Syarif
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:44 pm

No, Malaysia Airlines does not serve pork on-board. But yes it does serve acoholic drinks. However, most of the the FA are quite selective on serving alcohol on-board. I mean they would almost never offer alcohol to Muslim passengers.
Malaysia is not an Islamic country, but it is a Muslim majority country where 55% population are Muslim (mostly are ethnic Malay) and the rest are Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and indigeneous beliefs. Islam however is the official religion of Malaysia although freedom of religion are practiced.
 
ME AVN FAN
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:07 am

UnitedAirline; EK serves excellent French wines, but of course NOT pork !
 
ME AVN FAN
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:08 am

Mrniji; beer is good medicine against nervous conditions, but Martini ? no excuse for that !
 
ME AVN FAN
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:11 am

Afay1; EI does serve alcoholic beverages quite near to the USA
 
ME AVN FAN
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:13 am

Mas777; pork IS served in many forms on many airlines in the West, something that DOES pose problems for Muslim travellers !
 
n757kw
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:41 am

For what it is worth, I have travelled on Lion Air and Garuda in Indonesia on domestic flights. They served traditional Indonesian food. No pork. Not sure about the alcohol. I did not see it served, but I did not ask either.

Going to and from Jakarta on Korean Air and EVA, alcohol was served, but no pork in the meal service. My wife told me on her flight on Korean Air out of Jakarta, she was told all the meals were halal. From Seoul back to Jakarta she was offered a seperate halal meal.

N757KW
"What we've got here, is failure to communicate." from Cool Hand Luke
 
N1120A
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:49 am

If you think about it, it is easier to serve alcohol to passengers who want it and not serve it to those who do not then it is to worry about people who did not know you could order a halal meal and therefore may get upset that the meal is not halal. Of course they would not serve pork if they were serving halal meals, as it is most definately haram, but for ultra-religious people who have to have halal meat (same as kosher meat, but with a mulah and not a rabbi) it is just easier for the airlines to make the whole thing halal. And remember, you can always order a special meal.

Oh, and US airlines serve alcohol on domestic flights all the time, so serving alcohol is not an issue. Serving alcohol to someone under 21 might be an issue, but still, I had a friend who got drunk on SQ flying to see family in Pakistan and he was 16
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
myszek
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:15 pm

I flew in and out of US on multiple US and European airlines. They serve all kinds of alcohol regardless of what the a/c flies over at the time. Not to mention alcohol availability on US domestic flights.
 
LAXintl
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:01 pm

Most foreign airlines serving the Middle East also do not serve pork.
I was on two Lufthansa flights recently were a inflight annoucements was made indicating that the inflight meals were pork free.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
afay1
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:13 pm

While US carriers are required to follow US regulations even outside of US airspace. Foreign carriers are usually under no obligation to do so, so will serve booze to anyone 18ish. A 16 year old, while a minor in some countries, probably is rather unusual traveling alone (or not identified as unaccompanied) a F/A probably wouldn't bother to card him/her. If the TSA doesn't have enough sky marshals I hardly think the ATF is checking for liquor violations....Plus, what kind of jerk would turn them in?
 
rtfm
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:27 pm

Mrniji/Jacobin777 - couldn't agree more! Considering that Saudi is the birthplace of Mohammed (apologies if the spelling is incorrect..) and home of some of Islam's holiest sites I think that the inhabitants of the country would be rather insulted to hear their country referred to as 'godforsaken'.....

Anyway, I am sure that the last time I flew to Saudi (on BA) they were serving alcohol inside Saudi airspace and I have certainly flown through Saudi airspace en-route to other places in the MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME (e.g. BAH, DXB, MCT) and been served alcohol at the time.

The last time I flew out of Saudi (again on BA) was from JED and the crew announced that they could not start the bar service until we were out of Saudi airspace (in fact I think that we had just crossed the Red Sea coast into Egypt before they actually started).

The remark about US airspace is nonsense (at least it is for non-US carriers). Hell, I've even had drinks while taxiing to the t/o runway in the US.  Smile
 
IL76TD
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:31 pm

will vietnam airlines serve dog on their 7E7's lol
 
levent
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:16 pm

A friend of ours living in Saudi Arabia visited us in Thailand once, and was flying Saudi Arabian Airlines during the ramadan... no food during the flight.
 
jasepl
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:18 pm

I'm not sure about the 4 hour rule, but what I think Spike's trying to say has to do with it being "foreign" booze. The drink's not duty-paid and is technically being brought into the country (though not imported). This means that the bar and duty free trolley have to be sealed some time before arrival. Exactly how long before, I'm not sure, but surely it varies from country to country.

Personally, no pork or even no food I can live with. But no drink?  Nuts
I'd rather not go!

[Edited 2004-10-21 09:21:25]
 
keno
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:11 pm

A friend of ours living in Saudi Arabia visited us in Thailand once, and was flying Saudi Arabian Airlines during the ramadan... no food during the flight.

I really pity your friend. There is nothing in the religion that forbids a fasting Muslim to serve food to non-Muslims during Ramadan. My guess is most people flying with Saudi Arabian are muslims (just a guess!), so no food served as a mark of respect for the majority of other passengers.

I've flown on Malaysia Airlines before during Ramadan but it's still business as usual. Though it required a strong willpower in my part to resist the culinary temptation!  Acting devilish
 
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Starlionblue
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:21 pm

Malaysia is not an Islamic country, but it is a Muslim majority country where 55% population are Muslim (mostly are ethnic Malay) and the rest are Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and indigeneous beliefs. Islam however is the official religion of Malaysia although freedom of religion are practiced.

I think this cuts to the core of the issue. Many on this board seem to think that practictioners of Islam are all the same, and that they all follow strict Sharya (sic?) law and drink no alcohol. this is very far from the truth. Just as with Christianity (or any other major religion) there are myriads of subsects and within those sects there are a myriad degrees of devotion.

Just look at Jews. Most jewish men don't wear the yarmukah (sic? again) all the time for example. This does not make them less Jewish. Not all Muslim men have beards, although AFAIK the Koran states they should have one.

So this thing about alcohol only really becomes a legal issue for airlines which hail from states following Islamic law, like Saudi Arabia. Secular "Islamic" states like Turkey do not integrate religious law into state law. In America this concept is of course known by the famous expression "separation of church and state". Just because the USA is mainly Christian, this does not mean that Biblical tenets are directly written into national law.

So for example Turkey, while being a mainly Islamic country as far as it's people are concerned, is not an Islamic state.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Maersk737
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:43 pm

"will vietnam airlines serve dog on their 7E7's lol"

Yes, Hotdogs  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Cheers, In whatever you prefer to drink  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Peter
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Fly-K
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:18 pm

Talking about fasting, I heard one is exempt from fasting during Ramadan when travelling (based on the hardship of travelling in old days). Travelling in a plane is usually not such a hardship (at least not in the upper classes), but I imagine there's always room for interpretation, and of course Saudi Arabian takes the hard line, though I heard, meal boxes are distributed before iftar, so everyone can start eating once the sun has set.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
mrniji
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:41 pm

Following Stalionblue, just some thoughts:

Muslims in South Asia are for instance, in my eyes, completey different from Muslims in Arabia. Their rites, customs etc. have interwined much more in something I just call South Asian culture. On the other side, they have themselves positively influenced the culture on the subcontinent and are hence not only a part of it but constitute the very culture, too, in some parts. We see how religion interacts with something I carefully call 'culture of the soil'. Moreover, there have been discourses for centuries between the religions, influencing them. We should not forget that [religious] traditions only survives through changes. And the changes occur through various channels.

Same with Indonesia. So we should see this issue more carefully, as suggested. If I read Reply 10 again, I just feel shocked about some people not knowing anything about this issue but pretending to have absolut eternal knowledge. Such people are part of the really dangerous fraction, who see their culture and customs as the only and absolute way of life, hence causing extremism from the other side who challenge this view of the world. So my appeal again: let's be more careful, please, and not insult other people as being 'godforsaken', only because their culture constitutes of different [cultural] relative ways to regard issues. Please
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
HB-IWC
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:04 pm

many leading airlines flying out or into islamic destinations (including singapore) offer a choice of halal and non-halal (jhatka) for the non-veg pax...

I don't think that Singapore would be very excited to hear itself being referred to as an 'Islamic destination'...

For what it is worth, I have travelled on Lion Air and Garuda in Indonesia on domestic flights. They served traditional Indonesian food. No pork. Not sure about the alcohol. I did not see it served, but I did not ask either.

Garuda Indonesia serves beer on domestice routes. It's Bintang, a local variant of Heineken, and, if you ask me, nothing much to talk about, so you better go with coke or whatever. On international routes, Garuda serves wines and spirits as well.

As for food, all of Garuda's menus are halal, so one will under no circumstance be offered pork on board. Indonesia is not an Islamic country. Although a moajority of 90% of Indonesians are Muslim, Indonesia has freedom of religion inscribed in its constitution. However, the large Muslim majority makes for a strong domination of Muslim customes in daily life. During the current fasting month, many entertainment spots are prohibited from operating by local governments, out of respect for fasting Muslims, thereby however disregarding the constitutional rights of Indonesian Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus.

On Garuda, it's business as usual this month, and one can see that the airline caters for the fasting month by offering inflight meals in a take away form for fasting Muslims.

One more or less thing about Garuda and its home country of Indonesia finally is that, as part of its assortiment of special meals, Garuda Indonesia offers its customers the option of a Kosher meal, despite the fact that the Indonesian consitution does not provide the option of being a Jew. Somehow, I don't think that Garuda is serving a lot of these Kosher Meals, which they specially fly in from Antwerp, Belgium.

 
KLMyank
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:35 pm

Takeoff on BA from RUH...as soon as the wheels are in the well the BAR IS OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and I tell you, after 4 months working in RUH, you need it)
nb: If you happen to know someone in the US embassy or military training mission, you can get into the Camel's breath saloon, the only bar in Riyadh...
 
codeshare
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:42 pm

While travelling on KU I never had the need for alcohol or any pork.
They served good chicken, fish and lamb.

Besides, even when I had the choice on any other airline I always picked non-alcoholic beverages.
But a beer on a train is better Big grin
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MAS777
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:57 pm

ME_Anv_Fan

Read my post again - I did not state that non-muslim airlines do not serve pork - I just stated that it is not common to serve pork. It may be served on some airlines in the form of sausages or deli-meat but it is not often you would find Roast Pork for dinner example. Chicken, beef (except for India) or fish seem to be the popular norm for most inflight meals with most airlines.

Speaking of Ramadan - I last flew Malaysia Airlines during the Ramadan and although normal meals were served throughout, it was a really nice touch that at sun-down, the crew came through the aircraft to wish everyone 'happy break-fast' and served cakes in little gold boxes and drinks as an extra snack service - regardless if you were fasting/not-fasting/muslim/non-muslim. It felt like 'christmas' to me...

...Touches like that keep me flying Malaysian!

 
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Fly-K
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:59 pm

And I imagine BA is only catering to the needs of local customers by opening the bar... just like Saudis like to visit places like DXB or BEY on weekends.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
keno
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:01 pm

During Ramadan, travellers are advised by the Koran NOT to fast.

A more accurate description would be traveller are ALLOWED not to fast (rather that ADVISED not to fast). If you don't feel like fasting while travelling, then go ahead (but distance must be approx. >90km). But of course, you have to 'replace' the day you skip fasting to another day, after the month of Ramadan ends, as long as your total number of your fasting days adds up to 29/30 days.
 
jasepl
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:14 pm

You know, it just hit me when I was reading MAS777's post.

Air India (and the other carriers in the country) don't serve either pork or beef. Ever. This has nothing to do with a specific month or period or anything, they just don't. And whatever their reasons might be for doing this (more a result of trying to be PC than anything else) I don't see anyone bashing AI. Strange, but unsurprising.
 
hz747300
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Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:30 pm

When I was little we lived in JED for 12 years (1975-1987) and flew several airlines in and out of the Kingdom--mainly Saudia though, since Mom and Dad worked there. First the airlines were supposed to lock the liquour up when in JED and I believe turn the key over to the authorities. The key was returned when the flight was finished boarding and ready for pushback. A friend of my dad who was a mechanic with Saudia was asked by a KLM rep to do some welding for him. He did it and in return, he used a spare key to unlock some Heinickens(sp)...

Normally, the booze is locked up until they are in international airspace. On my last flight out of JED in 2001 when I went to visit my Dad, BA made the announcement before takeoff, that they would make announcement when they would start serving alcohol. And they did. Most of us were asleep already anyways, as the flight leaves JED at 1am and gets to LHR at 5:50am.

Related to the US crap that has been spewed out here, on a flight from MEL-LAX on UA, I was sitting amongst a crowd of young Aussies going to the US to work at ski resorts for the winter. When the guy next to me asked for Rum and Coke, the male attendent looked at him and said, "Do you have ID?"

The kid replied, "Oh sorry, it is in the overhead bin."

The FA looked at him some more and winced, then relented. Over the course of the flight, the kid collected about 12 little bottles of Rum!
Keep on truckin'...
 
mrniji
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:04 am

I don't see anyone bashing AI. Strange, but unsurprising.

I think it is great AI does not do it in view of the Hindu/Muslim Population in India and their share in travellers. Many people could be insulted/ LH does not do it on flights to India, so don't do others..

Hz747300, your story is interesting. My brother-in-law was booked FRA-DEL with LH. Flight overbooked, and LH rebooked him, with compensation of EUR 600, on FRA-JED and then JED-DEL with SV (not the best option, in my eyes). In transit of JED, they found the two bottles of good German wine he took for our residence in DEL (for his excuse I have to say that he never knwe he would travel this route, because only before departure he was told to proceed to the flight towards JED and that the rest would be cleared by LH Ground Staff there). The police made a state-act out of it in displaying the bottles, opening them and pooring them away..
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
ME AVN FAN
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:46 am

Gulf Air did and I think still do serve wine while above Saudi territory. --- That Saudi Arabian Airlines does NOT serve anything during Ramadan at daylight is a rather strict interpretation of the rules. But in many places, nothing is served during daylight during Ramadan, even to travellers.
 
hz747300
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:55 am

Gulf Air did and I think still do serve wine while above Saudi territory. --- That Saudi Arabian Airlines does NOT serve anything during Ramadan at daylight is a rather strict interpretation of the rules. But in many places, nothing is served during daylight during Ramadan, even to travellers.

Which is directly against the Quran--travellers and warriors are allowed to not fast. In fact, the wording is that it is better to be a warrior than a faster. In living in JED though, you saw little was held to these verses. As soon as the cannons went off at sundown, the town came alive. To me it was not fasting, if I only skipped meals during the day but gorged at night. The city reversed its hours, as I recall going to a doctor's appointment at 1am during Ramadan because he was open overnight.
Keep on truckin'...
 
ME AVN FAN
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:57 am

Mas777; pork-containing sausages, salami, bacon, etc is ALL pork -- and very often it is difficult to define what exactly is in these "food-boxes" ! For those who strictly reject pork at any time under any circumstances, it is rather difficult, for others -well- a nuisance of the tiny sort !
 
ME AVN FAN
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:01 am

HB-IWC; what you write about Indonesia applies to most Arab countries, except Saudi Arabia. They are Muslim countries majority-wise but NOT "Islamic countries" in the way of the KSA . Islam is majority religion but Koranic law is NOT the same as the state-laws.
 
ME AVN FAN
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:10 am

HZ747; well, Arab (Muslim) cities during Ramadan awake as soon as it becomes dark, and people stream into all those special restaurants. Everything is prepared just in time for the moment when life starts.
 
jacobin777
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Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:11 am

More like a twisting of the rules ......there is no islamic sharia (jurisprudence) which prohibits muslims from serving non-muslims food or liquids during Ramadan (at least that I know of)...also, Islamic restaurants (and that would probably extend to airlines) are not allowed to serve alocholic beverages, but allow non-muslims to bring their own alcoholic beverages to consume.....EK and/or the United Arab Emirates doesn't do that exactly..what they do is if one's name is Muslim (i.e. verifiable through ID), they will refuse to sell or serve them alcohol, where as a non-muslim, they allow it....i'm not too sure about the other Islamic countries do....

here is how Jumeirah International (including the 6-star Burj Al Arab) deal with ramadan..

http://www.jumeirahinternational.com/ramadan/

and here is a sharia on traveling and fasting...

http://www.islamonline.net/fatwaapplication/english/display.asp?hFatwaID=106196



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