5 Reasons Why #RamadanSolidarity Matters This Year

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Photo: Abdullah Al Muhairi

When our team sat down to discuss the approaching month of Ramadan, what dawned on us was that this was a Ramadan unlike any other. Sure, the traditions may be the same, the message of reflection remains central and it’ll be observed by millions. From one corner of the earth to the next, families will gather to break the fast at sunrise and sunset just like they have for hundreds of years.

But sadly, the state of the world has changed in ways that make it harder for refugees and religious minorities. This year, we call on Anera’s supporters to stand in #RamadanSolidarity, no matter what your religion or background is.

Why stand in #RamadanSolidarity? Let us count the ways…

1. Refugees are in Crisis

Mass migration from poor countries and conflict zones is nothing new. But families are continuing to flee while resources run low, migration routes remain treacherous, and many countries shut their doors. The refugee crisis is unfortunately here to stay. Just look at Syria, where 11+ million people have been displaced after six years of an ongoing civil war. Many refugees will be celebrating Ramadan in the muddy tent settlements of Lebanon, where shelters are shabby and supplies like food and medicine run low. In fact, Lebanon hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and over half of them are children.

2. Closed Borders

Countries can choose to close their borders, but turning a blind eye won’t solve the problem. Instead, refugee families amass in crowded tents, and in neighboring countries with limited resources. Conditions only continue to deteriorate. As rhetoric against refugees floods the airwaves, it’s more important than ever to show them that we stand in #RamadanSolidarity. Which brings us to the third point…

Ramadan festival girl

Photo: Ramadan Festival

3. Religious Tolerance

You might be asking, why Ramadan? Well, this holiday is one of the holiest for Muslims, and it’s an unfortunate reality that religious tolerance among host countries doesn’t always extend to this religious group. In a time of demonization, suspicion and intolerance, make a statement. Show that you don’t stand for religious discrimination.

4. Charity

Ramadan emphasizes charity, and those who observe are required to give according to their means—whether its in crops, livestock or cash. It’s especially important to give to the poor, and some still practice the old tradition of donating a portion of their meat during Ramadan as well as during Eid el Fitr. Placing this value on charity shows us what the spirit of Ramadan is really all about. It’s a spirit we can all get in on, regardless of whether you’re Muslim, observant, or just a global citizen standing in #RamadanSolidarity.

5. Sharing Humanity

When you say you’re standing in solidarity with those observing Ramadan, you’re saying that you recognize our common, shared humanity that transcends distinctions of race, religion and nationality. We’re all humans. We’re all in this together. And by lending a helping hand, you’re spreading a message of love and community.

Now those are some things #RamadanSolidarity is all about!

 

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