The Muslim community is rich with diversity. This diversity in culture and tradition can be seen in the different ways people celebrate the holy month of Ramadan around the world. This Ramadan, Islamic Relief USA delivered food packages to 30 countries. To capture the unique ways Ramadan is celebrated in each of these 30 countries, Islamic Relief worked with photographer Ridwan Adhami. During this Ramadan, Adhami took photos of Muslims in the United States who originate from these 30 countries. Every day of the month, Adhami shared with the world a new photo and memory of Ramadan from a new country.
The countries range in culture and location from Zimbabwe and Albania to South Africa and Somalia. Also among the countries are those in the Middle East and North Africa region: Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia and Sudan. Here are some of the photos and memories shared:
Day 4: Ramadan in Tunisia
“We had a revolution, but before that for over 20 years, hijab was against the law, and mosques were closed for the vast majority of the day. So there’s still not a lot of mosque life. I felt it. It’s always been a fine line, people tip-toeing around what’s allowed.”
Day 9: Ramadan in Palestine
“The kids go out in groups with the lanterns. And it was safe, you never worried about bombs. It was so peaceful. We would take the lanterns and knock on doors. We would say, ‘wahaweeya wahawee’ and they would open the door and give us candy. Every night in Ramadan I looked forward to it.”
Day 11: Ramadan in Sudan
“There’s a very nice tradition in Sudan where the people in the neighborhood would bring the food every night outside on the street and break fast in the street, and they would not allow anyone passing by to pass without sitting and eating. There would be some people who would stand in the road and insist for people to get off their buses and stop the cars to join the iftar, and they would insist for you to not be driving after sunset.”
Day 13: Ramadan in Lebanon
“Ramadan has a great flavor…different from any other time of the year.”
Day 14: Ramadan in Syria
“Every family would send a child before maghrib time to the neighborhood shop to get fresh falafel, hummus, and atayef. The most important thing is the atayef.”
Day 21: Ramadan in Iraq
“It’s as if you are going back to live those beautiful memories. Although we share so many traditions and customs, there is something very special for each town, for each city.”
This article was originally published on BarakaBits on July 7, 2016.