As part of financial package, a visit of European fish harbours was envisaged for those people associated with implementation of the project. The objective of the visit was to provide first-hand information regarding fish handling standards, maintenance and upkeep of fish harbours. I was included as part of delegation to undertake this tour along with Abdul Aziz Ashrafi and Syed Kamal Ahmad, secretary food and agriculture, government of Sindh.
The Europe Tour
The tour which would take us to different European fish harbours which includes UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, and Belgium, started from Aberdeen, a Scottish port city in northeast end of UK. It was the month of July and this beautiful city and its lush green surroundings were having longest day of about 18 hours. We were taken round this beautiful city and in the evening, the tour operators took us to a restaurant for dinner.
I looked up at sky and asked them to wait until dark as the day was still bright, and that it was too early for dinner. Our hosts told us that it was 11 pm and all restaurants will close by 12 midnight. We went in reluctantly for dinner and after we were finished by the stroke of midnight, although the sunset time here was 10:15 pm, but there was enough twilight sufficient to read a newspaper in the open sky.
We were told that Aberdeen Fish Harbour was strategically located at a place where the day-time was stretched to 18 hours with twilight of 4 hours. It was literally a day all through except for two hours of darkness. In winters it was just the opposite of it. The children would go to school in dark and when they would return home, it would be dark again. It was quite fascinating to observe all this and I was wondering if there were Muslims living in this area, and surely there were many Muslims here, it must be a herculean task to observe fast during the month of Ramadan. And in winters, the fasting time would be reduced to just 6 hours. Given the choice, I would love to come to Aberdeen every winter if the holy month of Ramadan was to fall during this period.