Saturday, August 22, 2009

America's Muslims Celebrate Holy Month of Ramadan

Via VOA News -

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on August 22, Muslim Americans are observing it in many ways.

American Muslims of diverse national backgrounds are coming together to worship. They will break their dawn-to-dusk fast -for a whole month - in Islamic centers and in their homes across the country.

Imam Abdulla Khouj is president of the Islamic Center in Washington, DC.

"People from all over the world gather in one place and all do feel one people regardless of the distances and regardless of the geographical areas," he said.

Regardless of national origin, Ramadan is observed with rituals that bridge those differences.

Families shop for foods that have been prepared especially for Ramadan. They prepare Iftar meals that break the daily fast and they pray together.

Nadia Rachid immigrated to the US from Morocco. She misses the big Ramadan gatherings in her home country.

"There is a big difference. Here you do not have extended family, and so instead of having 10 people around the table, there is only the two of us," she said.

Her husband, Mohamed Ibrahim, says it's easy to observe Ramadan in America even though most people around him are not fasting.

"Because it is my duty to fast it does not matter what everybody else is doing," he explained.

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