Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ramadan

Eid al-Fitr: Muslims around world celebrate end of Ramadan fast

Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of the holy month of fasting

This weekend, Muslims all over the globe begin celebrations for Eid al-Fitr, to mark the end of Ramadan.

The name translates as “the festival of breaking the fast” as during the month of Ramadan, Muslims perform one of the five pillars of Islam: the fast.

Food, water and sexual activity are all banned until after sunset.

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Egyptian Muslim men and women are separated from each other as they gather for a prayer in the village of Dalgamon, Tanta, some 120 kilometres north of Cairo, Egypt (EPA / Khaled Elfiqi)

Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is believed that the Quran’s first verse was revealed during the last 10 nights of this month.

The exact date of Eid depends on the lunar cycle, and it is traditionally celebrated for three days – although from country to country, the festival can last anywhere from one to four days.

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Muslims offer prayers outside the Grande Mosquee de Paris (Great Mosque of Paris) (AFP / Zakaria Abdelkafi)

Muslims in the UK generally celebrate Eid for a single day.

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Saudis and foreigners perform prayer at the al-Masmak grand mosque of Prince Turki bin Abdulla palace in Riyadh (EPA / STR)

It’s not to be confused with Eid al-Adha, the “sacrifice feast” – so-called to honour Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Ishmael – which takes place two months later and coincides with the annual Mecca pilgrimage.

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Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (3rd R) attends prayers on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, inside a mosque in Hama (SANA Handout via Reuters)

To commemorate Eid, prayers are offered in the morning at the mosque, with readings from the Quran.

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Pakistani residents offer Eid al-Fitr prayers on the outskirts of Peshawar (AFP/Getty Images)

Celebrations then take place with friends and family, as well as among the whole community.

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Bangladeshi Muslims travel home for celebrations on a crowded ferry in Dhaka (Rex Features / Sony Ramany)

Children often receive new clothes and their first pocket money, and parents exchange gifts and pastries.

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Afghan children ride swings during celebrations in Herat (EPA / Jalil Rezayee)

 

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In Albanian capital Tirana, prayers take place on recently renovated Skanderbeg Square (AP / Hektor Pustina)

 

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Egyptians try to catch balloons released after prayers, in a public park outside Cairo’s El-Seddik Mosque (Reuters / Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

This year marks the first time since 1996 that the White House will not host a celebratory iftar dinner to commemorate Eid.

First held in the White House in 1805, Hillary Clinton made the ritual an annual tradition in 1996 after learning more about it from her daughter Chelsea.

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An Afghan woman and her son beg at a Kabul mosque on the first day of Eid (Reuters / Omar Sobhani)

The White House issued a statement on Saturday evening: “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity. Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbours and breaking bread with people from all walks of life. During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honour these values.”

The statement ends with the traditional greeting: Eid Mubarak (blessed Eid).

Israel Cutting Palestinians Off

From Their Own Water Supply

According to an experienced reporter on Palestine, 50% of the water to a city of 40,000 people has been cut off during Ramadan, a timewhen people need to have access to food and water more than any other time.’

JERUSALEM — Apartheid Israel is limiting access to water in Palestine, a long-standing practice that’s only intensified during the holy month of Ramadan, when access to water becomes even more important than usual.

Cuts in water supply are hitting the Occupied West Bank especially hard, Al-Jazeera reported on June 23.

“Water shortages and cuts have … been reported throughout the northern Jenin and Nablus districts of the West Bank, although Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, the Israeli body in charge of the occupied West Bank, denied water had been cut or reduced at all,” wrote Sheren Khalel. 

Saleh Afaneh, head of water and wastewater for Salfit, a city in the northern part of the West Bank, told Khalel that his community is only receiving 30 to 40 percent of its normal water allowance from Israel.

“On the first day of Ramadan, the water stopped for 24 hours, with no notice,” Afaneh said. “Since then, it has been coming in at less than half the capacity. We’ve done everything we can to try and make residents comfortable, but this is a crisis.”

Marj Henningsen shared a link.

Most Palestinians are Muslim, and during the holy month of Ramadan, they abstain from eating or drinking water from dawn until dusk.

Having access to water for drinking and food preparation during the pre-dawn and post-sunset hours is particularly crucial during the holy month, which makes the blockade especially devastating, reported Ramzy Baroud, editor of The Palestine Chronicle, in a June 17 interview with RT.

“People need to have access to food and water more than any other time because of the Iftar, because of breaking the fast and now they are being denied that access,” Baroud said.

According to Baroud, Jenin, a city of about 40,000 people, also located in the northern part of the West Bank, is down to about 50 percent of its normal water supply.

The issue of access to water in Palestine is an ongoing one, Baroud noted.

“Throughout its history of conflict with the Palestinians, Israel has done so much to ensure that Palestinians don’t have access to water — not only as a form of collective punishment, but to also ensure that the Palestinians do not develop their economy because it is reliant on between 14 to 20 percent on agriculture,” he argued.

Controlling Palestinian agriculture allows Israel to profit from both the water supply itself and the few exports it allows to reach foreign markets.

Not only have human health and agriculture suffered under the blockade, it’s also stunted the region’s traditional flower growing and many other industries.

According to Khalel, the World Health Organization recommends that every person should have access to about 100 liters of water per day for all their needs, from cooking to washing to drinking. Israelis typically receive about 240 to 300 liters per day, while Palestinians, on average, receive just 73 liters per day.

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An additional 180 especially impoverished communities within the “Area C” region of the Gaza Strip are not connected to any running water, and some Palestinians spend as much as one-fifth of their salary on water.

But according to Baroud, that water isn’t Israel’s to sell in the first place.

“The tragedy of all tragedies is that the water that Israelis are holding back from Palestinians is actually Palestinian water,” he told RT.

“So, this is really important to keep in mind. Israel steals the water of the Palestinians from the West Bank aquifers, repackages and sells them the water back and now they are actually cutting them off from the very water they stole from the Palestinians in the first place.”

Watch “How difficult is Ramadan in Palestine?” from PressTV UK:

Are in love with the World Cup? Why the Lebanese should be in sync with most of the world?

Why is Lebanon so in love with the World Cup?

Sophie Spencer posted on iloubnan.info this June 12, 2014,

 

As the world cup starts tonight with the Brazil – Croatia game at 11pm, Iloubnan.info attempts to understand Lebanon’s love for the tournament and the logic (if any) behind the teams the Lebanese are supporting.

Lebanon loves the world cup. Actually, that is an understatement. Lebanon adores the world cup and it doesn’t make sense because Lebanon is not even in it, and never has been! (And this is an excellent reason for going crazy, when not actually participating?)World cup fever has been heating up in the streets of Beirut for a while now.

You see the flags dominating shop displays, hanging from windows and covering various parts of cars. It is really going to shake up Lebanon. (You find dozens of different flags hanging from the same building)

Because of the time difference between Lebanon and Brazil, where the tournament is taking place, some games will finish at around 3 in the morning and speculators are already discussing how this, coupled with Ramadan, will affect productivity in the Middle East.

So what is it about the World Cup that has people so excited? Let’s consult the man (and woman!) on the street.

1. ‘will you be watching the world cup?’

A definit ‘akeed’ (of course) was the overwhelming response from men.

Most women too, affirmed their enthusiasm for the competition, although a few flatly refused to discuss the subject.

For many, the event represents a welcome distraction and change from daily life and as Johnny, 42, put it bluntly, ‘It’s better than watching the government.’ (As if they ever watched the government or cared what the government is doing)

The two clear favourite teams are Brazil and Germany.

People tried to assure me that their support for Brazil was not a passing fancy but in fact goes back a long way. For most it was due to their admiration of the skills of the team, others mentioned the diaspora ties between Lebanon and Brazil.

Until the conclusion of the championship on 13th July, Brazil will be the adopted (football) homeland. Muhammad, 35, said he would watch only as long as Brazil stays in.

Love for Germany also seems to have deep roots. The third most successful team in the history of the cup (after Brazil and Italy) is a reliable bet, sure to provide some quality football. For some, however, admiration for the team is only skin deep. 18-year old Rita told me she was supporting Germany because ‘Germans are hot’!

Of course peer pressure plays its role. Madeleine, 45, revealed to me that her first choice team was Italy but there is less hassle for her at home if she supports Brazil.

However, as most people prefer to watch matches at home with all the family, there are worries about whether this will be possible.

Despite efforts by Tele Liban and the Emir of Qatar to offer the world cup on state TV, exclusive broadcasting rights have gone to cable TV company Sama who are planning to charge $110 for the complete world cup package. (Most people goes to restaurants to watch the games)

Perhaps this means cafes screening the matches will over flow with customers or perhaps people will find legally questionable ways to keep up with their favourite teams at home.

One thing is for sure, Lebanon with its diverse allegiances will be transformed, for one month, into a feverish microcosm of the football-crazy world.

Note: If Lebanese have sense, they should support the State contingents in the UN peace keeping force who are offering great services and facilities to the people in the south.

– See more at: http://www.iloubnan.info/social/81142/Why-is-Lebanon-so-in-love-with-the-World-Cup#sthash.nN9SGWyd.Am2SnPpo.dpuf

 

US government to force-feed hunger strikers at  Guantánamo Bay during Ramadan

The US government has refused to stop force-feeding detainees on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay during the holy month of Ramadan.

There are 166 detainees at Guantanamo, 106 of them are on hunger strike.

Of those, 45 of them are being fed through tubes directly into the stomach, according to the court papers.

In its court filing, the US Department of Justice also denied claims that it was giving the drug Reglan to the detainees.

In court papers rejecting a petition by four of more than 100 detainees said to be refusing food, the US said the feedings provided “essential nutritional and medical care” and would not interfere with religious observance of Ramadan, which begins on Monday.

 published from New York in the guardian.co.uk this July 3, 2013

Observant Muslims fast daily from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.

Lawyers for President Obama also said that the “public interest lies with maintaining the status quo“.

Last month, Obama gave a speech in which he promised to work towards closing the base, and to allow the release of many of the 86 prisoners held there who have been cleared for transfer.

Obama described the camp as a moral problem for the nation that had to be solved.

The feeding of detainees, via nasogastric tube, will be carried out by the facility “before dusk and after sunset in order to accommodate their religious practices”, they said, “absent any unforeseen emergency or operational issues”.

Colonel Greg Julian, director of public affairs for US southern command,  said: “We do not force-feed observant Muslims during daylight hours during Ramadan. These policies have been in place for years, and are consistent with our mission to safely detain while supporting the religious practices of those in US custody. If told to do differently, we will do so.”

Government lawyers said that enteral or force feeding is authorized by federal regulations when a prisoner’s life or permanent health is in danger, and is related to “preserving order security and discipline within the detention facility“, according to court documents in the case.

US government lawyers also argued that the detainees bringing the case, Shaker Aamer, Nabil Hadjarab, Ahmed Belbacha and Abu Wa’el Dhiab, are not “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and are therefore not protected under it.

A group of detainees began a hunger strike in February this year, in protest at their detention. Some have been detained without trial for more than a decade.

It also highlights Obama’s failure to deliver a 2008 campaign pledge to close the camp.

Aamar, who has spent 11 years without trial at the camp, despite being twice cleared for release, recently spoke of increasingly brutal tactics being used in an attempt to break the strike.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the US, reiterated its call on Monday for the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to stop.

Lawyers for the detainees described the tube feeding as “barbaric” and hit out at the failure of the US government to provide a specific guarantee that no feeding would happen during the day.

Cori Crider, counsel for the men and strategy director at Reprieve, said: “These are more weasel words from the Obama administration – they say they have ‘no plans’ to force-feed during the day in Ramadan, but give no guarantees. Meanwhile, on the eve of Independence Day, they ride rough-shod over the fundamental right of people to choose what goes into their bodies. ”

Jon Eisenberg, US counsel for the men, said: “The Obama administration argues here that ‘the public interest lies with maintaining the status quo’. The status quo is that these men are being held indefinitely without any sort of trial, even though they were cleared for release years ago.”

Guantanamo

Government lawyers said that enteral or force feeding is authorised by federal regulations. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

“Consider the irony of the Obama administration arguing here that the Guantánamo Bay detainees are not ‘persons’ within the scope of US law guaranteeing religious freedom, in a post-Citizens United world where even corporations are endowed with legal personhood.”


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