Thursday, June 20, 2024


As one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is a time when the faithful take time to cleanse the body and soul by fasting all-day long and doing only good deeds for their fellow men. The holy month of Ramadan is a distinct time in Ethiopia as well, where the daily hustle-and-bustle slows down significantly, as the Muslim community observes this important period of fasting and prayer across the country. With the word “ramadhān” originally said to be associated with strong heat and sun, and the holy month earlier falling during the summer owing to historical lunar calendar relation to the solar one, the fasting human body needs rest and hence the slowdown during daytime. The night time, on the other hand, is quite colorful starting with Iftar, where the faithful gather to break the day’s Ramadan fast. Nevertheless, this year’s COVID-19 outbreak looks to be casting a dark shadow on this time of observance and happiness. Pictured above is an elderly Ethiopian Muslim observing Salat Asr (afternoon prayer) inside the Grand Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa, which is unusually quiet for this time of the year, and yet looks undeterred with everything going on.                         

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