Durban set for its first virtual iftar

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Durban is all set to host its first ever virtual Iftar or breaking of the fast for Muslims during Ramadan on Facebook on Sunday evening.

Usually, the Mass Iftar Committee hosts an interfaith sharing of meals during this time. But, due to lockdown regulations, they have decided to continue online.

In the video below, the SABC News takes a look at how Muslims observe Ramadan amid the lockdown:

The Committee’s Dr Faisal Suleman explaining how the online Iftar connects citizens, despite social distancing.

“Ironically, COVID-19 has made it more introspective and realigned the important things in our life. And I think what has come out is just how much we miss going to church or mosque or temple, but we have to adapt we have to make the best of what we have and this is one way of using some of the technology to overcome the lack of actual physical contact.”

Last week, in an internally displaced camp in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, women in bright, patterned scarves cooked meals in preparation for the evening meal in which Muslims break their fast. With money growing scarce as COVID-19 dealt a hard blow to the economy, residents came together for a communal meal.

“When the coronavirus broke out in the city and people stopped going out to get work, we started putting together half a dollar, one dollar, or two dollars. We share iftar as families in the evenings. We eat together and then leave,” said resident Mohamed Warsame Hirsi.

In the heart of Egypt’s capital Cairo, shoppers packed sweet shops and grocery stores to stock up for fast-breaking. This occurred a little over a month since Egypt imposed strict measures to counter the virus.

Social customs and economic pressures drew people onto the streets, even as newly-reported cases of the coronavirus have continued to rise.

The government is running campaigns in newspapers and on billboards to encourage social distancing. It also shut cafes and eat-in service at restaurants and imposed a night-time curfew.

“Customers are not afraid of the coronavirus. It was very crowded (in the shop) at the start of Ramadan. So, we were always asking people to stand further apart,” said Osama Ali Ahmed, 60, owner of a sweet shop near the historic al-Sayeda Zainab mosque in central Cairo. – Additional reporting by Reuters