Monday, September 7, 2009

3 Kilometer Iftar Table

Turkey's longest-Ramadan iftar table was formed in Esenler district of Istanbul yesterday.

Iftar (إفطار‎ in Arabic), is the evening meal that breaks the daily fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Because the Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles, Ramadan moves through the (solar based) Gregorian calender at a pace of about 11 days per year. This year Ramadan runs from August 22 to September 19, but next year begins on August 11.

During the month of Ramadan, practicing Muslims do not eat during the daylight hours. The fast is broken each evening following the sunset prayer.

In Turkey, iftar is a community event. Many cities set up tents where the prayers and iftar are shared experiences for the whole community, rich and poor alike. The largest tent, in the Istanbul suburb of Bağcılar, covers 1250 square meters (larger than 3.5 football fields), running four air conditioners (because Ramadan falls in the summer this year), and serves 2500 people every night.

The Esenler iftar table is approximately 3 kilometers long (about 1.8 miles). "Such mass iftars will boost friendship, brotherhood among people," said Esenler Mayor Tevfik Goksu.

World Bulletin (via All Voices)
Today's Zaman

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