Friday, 19 July 2013

SOAS Students Break Fast with Homeless

The Huffington Post (15 July 2013) reports on the effort of students from the School of Oriental and African Studies to share their iftar meal (to break their fast) with members of the community by setting up a "Ramadan Tent":

"Students from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) are welcoming the public to their "Ramadan Tent" during Islam's holy month. The university, in Bloomsbury, is being used as the site where iftar, the sunset meal which breaks the fast, will be served.

Omar Salha, an SOAS alumnus, says he came up with the idea because he wanted to connect with communities.
"We want this Ramadan campaign to challenge some of the misconceptions people have about Islam. But it's also about connecting with all communities on a more humanistic level. It's only right that as Muslims and Londoners we serve the wider London community in the spirit of Ramadan.
"Some residents from St Mungo's saw our advert in their residence and came," he continued, saying he was particularly keen to reach out to those ostracised by society. "They were reluctant to say who they were at the beginning, but later said they were happy that there are still people reaching out to them."
 "The purpose of Ramadan Tent is to understand and appreciate the importance of charity and remembering those less fortunate than us; to join in the practise of sharing and caring and charitable duties towards our family, our local community and our nation.
"To invite the homeless and the poor and not turn them away, even if all we can give is half a date; to say a good word, to smile, to safeguard our environment and pick up rubbish and above all else to keep peace and good relations between people."












Thursday, 18 July 2013

Boston Globe Annual Photography Feature

For the last few years the Boston Globe has published a great feature on Ramadan on its The Big Picture.  You can see the pictures for 2011 here, 2012 here and 2013 below and here.



























source for all images here

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Masjid Umar Helping Out in the Snow

The Leicester Mercury (22nd January 2013) received a letter recently from a member of the public:
"(An open letter to the community of the Masjid Umar mosque in Evington Road, Leicester).

I want to thank your community for the most amazing selfless act that happened on Friday night – it has truly moved me and has changed my attitude and I am feeling very humble today. Let me explain why.

Along with most of Leicester, I was crawling home at a snail's pace and was facing the long hill of Evington Road. What I saw in front of me was truly wonderful.

There were many Muslim men, wrapped up and facing icy winds and freezing temperatures, stopping the traffic to guide cars out of side roads, to make sure the traffic flowed and pushing the more modern computerised cars up the hill.

They were putting themselves in front of heavy vehicles that could have slid and crushed them – still they carried on.

I knew my old car would make it – no computer to tell it not to.

I chugged up the hill, but also saw your men pushing the less able and the whole event really opened both my eyes and my heart.

It didn't matter who was in these cars – black, white, any creed and any colour, all were assisted, without any prejudice.

At 52, I have grown up with prejudice in my heart.

My cousin was blown up in a market in Afghanistan, serving his Queen and country, so my prejudice was strengthened even further.

A bit of snow and community spirit has changed my outlook on many things. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Annie Ward-Pearson, Leicester".

You can read the original letter here (half way down the page)

Muslim Snow Patrol in Newcastle

The recent snowy weather in the UK caused disruption throughout the country.  Sky News (23rd January 2013) reports on members of the Islamic Diversity in Newcastle who have been clearing residential roads and drives in Newcastle's West End.


 


The Sky news website reports:

"IDC director Abu Tayeb said: “[Residents] have been really appreciative of the work that we’re doing.

“They’ve been a bit surprised at why loads of bearded men have come and tried to help them clear their drives.

“As Muslims we believe that it is our Islamic duty to look after our neighbours, especially in these very difficult conditions.

“We’re trying to remove some of those preconceptions people have about Islam and Muslims by showing that Muslims actually do good things and are trying to help our neighbours.”


You can see the full report here.