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Celebrating Ramadan

Celebrating Ramadan

With Ramadan fast approaching, we take a look at what the holy month involves for children in SOS Villages across the world. We visit Heba in Lebanon, Mojtaby in Sudan and Razan in Palestine.

According to the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month. It is also the third pillar of Islam. This special month sees Muslims all over the world fast during daylight hours, praying and reading the Qur’an regularly.

Razan

An SOS family sitting down to dinner at SOS Children's Village Bethlehem
Razan and her SOS family enjoy breaking the daily fast with a delicious meal

Razan is 13-years-old and lives at the SOS Children’s Village Bethlehem, Palestine.

For Razan, Ramdan begins with food shopping. “We buy everything we need such as pickles, dates and all the other yummy food we’ve planned for the month,” she explains. “We make a meal plan, including who will cook each meal and who we’re going to invite over for iftar”. Iftar is the meal eaten after the sun has set.

Razan’s SOS mother is in charge of making the traditional cold Ramadan drinks made with exciting ingredients like liquorice, tamarind and carob. She also makes a delicious stuffed chicken dish called maklouba, which all the children in the SOS Village love!

“We also decorate the entire Village with lanterns and lights,” says Razan excitedly. “Making everything look clean and pretty is one of my favourite things during Ramadan”. The children also gather together food and clothes to give to those in need in the surrounding communities.

Heba

Heba is 10-years-old and lives at the SOS Children’s Village Ksarnaba, Lebanon.

This is only the second year Heba has fasted. For her, the most enjoyable part of Ramadan is eating iftar! “I especially enjoy fatoush (a Lebanese salad), fried potatoes and dates,” she says. “I just love getting together with my whole SOS family and all the other SOS families and eating together”.

Like Razan in Palestine, Heba and her friends decorate the houses. They choose flowers and lights to make the Village look beautiful. They add fresh flowers everyday. “Ramdan is so much fun,” Heba beams. “There are lots of really good cartoons and children’s shows on TV. That’s why I feel very sad at the end of Ramadan. It’s the most fun month of the year!”

But, we do have Eid afterwards and we get all sorts of gifts and new dresses, so it’s not too sad,” she giggles. Eid al Fitr is a big celebration that marks the end of Ramadan and fasting.

Two SOS boys carry a tray of food to families outside their SOS Village Khartoum
Mojtaby and his SOS brother carry a large tray of food they've prepared. The food will be given to those in need.

Mojtaby

Mojtaby is 11-years-old and lives at SOS Children’s Village Khartoum, Sudan.

He doesn’t enjoy all the preparation that goes into Ramadan like Razan and Heba do. “I hate going shopping for the home supplies,” he moans. “It’s always so crowded in the shops and we spend hours carrying stuff for our mother and following her from one shop to another – my feet hurt!”

But Mojtaby doesn’t mind the other elements of Ramdan. He likes the fact that he gets to stay up late to eat sohour (the last meal before dawn and the start of the fast). “Getting him for school the next day isn’t so fun!” laughs his SOS mother.

Mojtaby also loves going out to the gardens at the SOS Village and eating together with friends. “We all get together and eat iftar and have so much fun,” he says. “I love eating all the sweets and konafah (an Ottoman sweet dish) and my favourite dish is baked potatoes. I also like to prepare a tray with some food and juie which I take out and give to the poorer people.”

Giving Zakat this Ramadan

You can donate your Zakat to any of the 125 countries we work in. If you choose to donate in this way, your money will be held in a non-interest earning account.

You can also sponsor a child from any of our Children’s Villages. Your sponsorship will be subject to our normal banking procedures.

Please visit our dedicated page on Zakat giving for more information.

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