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Ramadan in war torn Syria

by Salaamedia Intern

The Syrian uprising of 2011 started in the Idlib province in Syria where fighting and protests took place Photo – AFP 

The blessed month of Ramadan remains the focus point for many civilians’ and families in Syria, despite the ongoing war and revolution. People are still coming together to celebrate this auspicious month which focuses on self-reflection and helps strengthen their relationship with God.

Syrians have been a part of an ongoing revolution, since 2011. Syrian citizens revolted against their leader Bashar al-Assad for their rights. Ever since, the country has been fighting for justice for the people seeking Islamic governance to take preference. Despite progress made, the goals of the revolution seem far out of reach.

Bilal Abdul Kareem, American journalist covering Syria on the ground, revealed that the goals of the revolution have not been met due to certain challenges.

“Islamic knowledge, not enough emphasis was put on the spread of dawah here in these territories by the various groups that were in power. Was that by design or was that just because they were focused on so much of the war effort, only Allah knows. Having the best of thoughts, it was because of being focused on the whole war effect. They haven’t been able to achieve their goals as of yet because of the lack of dollar which is number one.” said Kareem.

He explained that another of the challenges stems from Syrians being politically immature. Kareem compared the people of Syria with the Egyptian people during their revolution.

“They backed certain individuals and certain groups without adequately demanding from them to let them know what it is exactly they want to do, should they come to power,” said Kareem, “That is the situation that the Syrian people have fallen into. It is unfortunate but looking at it from the best of standpoints Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala I think, is going to bring them through a process,” where future deceptions can be avoided.

Despite all this Kareem remains hopeful, through Allah’s guidance the people of Syria will be able to liberate themselves. During the season of Ramadan, people of the ummah strive to become closer with God and through this, they will be able to navigate the revolution much better.

Ramadan is known as the month where the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The month is often celebrated with the comfort of family and friends. Racquell Hayden Best – humanitarian worker- shared her experiences of celebrating Ramadan in Syria.

“You know, alhamdulillah, it’s a huge blessing, and they see [it as] a huge blessing for them to be able to see another Ramadan.”

For some families Ramadan is not celebrated how it should be, as they don’t have the facilities to cook traditional meals or the money to buy food.

“Obviously when it’s Ramadan you know you look forward to having a nice meal at the end of the day. A lot of the families out here, they don’t have that ability to be able to put that food out on the table for their families and you know, alhamdulillah, it is a blessed time, a happy time but at the same time it’s also a difficult time for many families out here in Syria,” said Best.

To combat the lack of food and supplies, Best, alongside her charity organisation, works to prepare and distribute meals.

Best revealed, “Being in the charity sector is really busy. Ramadan is the busiest time of the year for us so we’re busy doing distributions. I’m trying to get iftars (meals) out there and getting the story as well out to the people.”

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