DUBAI: Nine months ago when Nurgul Esenova set foot in Dubai little did she know that the city would help her open up her heart and soul to Islam.
Although she was born into a Muslim family in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, she neither practised Islam nor had ever read about it in school. However, this Ramadan has brought about a difference. Esenova said she is experiencing spiritual rejuvenation for the first time in her life and is in awe of the city that has provided her an opportunity to introspect.
The 25-year-old, who works as a sales girl at a local mall, said that she can’t thank Allah enough for enlightening her. “Life has become so much simpler and easier after I studied Islam. I realised what I was missing.”
“I had teething troubles adjusting in Dubai. A friend suggested I pray and read the Quran. Luckily I came across the South African Islamic Centre (SAIC) in Barsha and it helped me rediscover my forgotten faith.”
Esenova feels she’s on a spiritual plane and doesn’t want to get off. “This Ramadan I feel the floodgates of spirituality have opened on me; I can’t hold my tears listening to the recitation of the Quran during the taraweeh prayers.”
A graduate of economics from Kirakol, the fourth largest city of Kyrgyzstan, Esenova said that she has started wearing the hijab, something she never thought of doing back home.
“With every passing day, I am learning something new about the teachings of Islam. If it wasn’t for Dubai, this spiritual transformation wouldn’t have happened. I feel so blessed,” she says.
Road to rediscovery
Another Muslim Krygyz woman who has renewed her faith in Islam with the help of SAIC is Sandzheza Laguzova. The 29-year-old now spends most of her time reading books to learn more about the religion.
“This is the first time when I am fasting and praying in Ramadan. Earlier I never took it seriously. I feel blessed knowing how forgiving and merciful Allah is.”
Laguzoza came to Dubai around two years ago and works as a sales administrator at a fashion line. “I am bowled over by the beauty of the Arabic language,” said Laguzova, who hails from Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek and considers herself extremely fortunate to be living in a city where she found her true calling.