Monday, February 15, 2010

What's in a weeked?

When I lived in the UK, the weekend was Saturday and Sunday - like everywhere else in the Western world, and much of the non-Western world, too. Then I moved here and the weekend was on Thursday and Friday, like the rest of the Islamic world.

Then countries across the Islamic world realised that this meant that they had 4 days of no-trading with most of the rest of the world and that wasn't good for their economies. So several countries changed the weekend to Friday and Saturday. You can't get Muslims to work on a Friday, because
a) Friday is supposed to be a weekly religious holiday, and
b)Friday prayer is slap bang in the middle of the day (around 1pm ish) and lasts about an hour. Add in lunch and you've lost the entire afternoon. And whether people actually attend the prayer or not is utterly irrelevant - they'll just take the time off anyway. Saturdays most world banks are closed and there's no business anyway so it's kind of a no-brainer.

Last August, Algeria joined the list of Muslim countries that changed their weekend. I'm not gonna lie: it was really weird at first, and I'm still not sure what days the Post Office is open now. ;)

Anyways, all this means that my week is from Sunday-Thursday and my weekend is Friday and Saturday. Except that it isn't. Thanks to my light schedule at uni (it's all research based, so we need more time off to do the research. Apparantly) I have Thursday-Satuday off. Yup, I have a 3-day weekend. And believe you me, I appreciate it, I make the most of it and I am HUGELY grateful for it. :D

Which means that I was actually off for my birthday on Thursday. But I didn't celebrate. Because I don't actually celebrate birthdays. The reason for this is religious: as a Muslim, I don't believe that celebrating birthdays is a part of my religion. That said, I know plenty of Muslims who do celebrate birthdays, and that's their opinion/choice/way/whatever-the-appropriate-word-is. Each to their own.

This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate everyone's wishing me a great day - I do. I lived in the UK for forever, so I know that this is something that's a normal part of Western culture and I understand the kindness and warm-heartedness behind the sentiments. And whether I celebrate it or not, it's still a milestone in the year.

The weekend difference also means that I was at uni for Valentine's Day. And guess what? I don't, and therefore didn't, celebrate that either. :)

So now you know that I'm not simply avoiding writing about what I did for my bday or Vday, but I honestly don't have anything to write about!


  1. My program gives Friday's off so technically I'm supposed to have a 3-day weekend (and did last year) but this year I work on Fridays. I sure do miss those Fridays off, though!

  2. I had to do a case study on factories and working in Islamic nations and make recommendations based upon their religious commitments. Anyway, hope you had alovely birthday!