World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation extended aid to Cuban Muslims as part of the Ramadan relief campaign that includes 65 countries worldwide.
Ninety students and 450 families were distributed food packages.
The IHH included Cuban Muslims in its Ramadan campaign. IHH officials delivered food packages to 400 poor Muslim families in the capital city Havana. Fifty families in Matansaz were given foodstuff that will suffice for a month. In the Isle of Youth, 90 students were given foodstuff and cash donations.
Cuban Muslims, who make the poorest group in the country, were gratified by the food aid sent from Turkey and expressed their thanks to charitable people of Turkey.
Yanya Pedro, president of the Cuban Islamic Union, said "Ramadan is a time when fraternity and solidarity ties come into the limelight. Turkish Muslims, who extended their help from thousands of kilometers away, gave a boost to our ties with the Islamic world. The aid has spiritual as well as material meaning to us. God bless all who contributed to the aid."
There are 2,000 Muslims in Cuba
Cuba is an island country located in the northern Caribbean at the confluence of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean with an area of 110,860 square-kilometers. It has a population of 11 million people. The number of Cuban Muslims is estimated to be about 2,000 people. In Havana, 960 registered their religion as Islam with the Islamic center.
Cuban Muslims are learning Islam through embassies of Middle Eastern countries as well as through students coming to study in Cuba from Muslim and African countries. Islam started to spread among the Cubans in the 1970s and '80s. Printed and audio-visual Islamic resources are almost nonexistent in Cuba. Spanish translation of the Quran and other major Islamic books are not available in the country. The Muslim community of Cuba lack educated religious cadres. They do not even have a mosque.
Cuban Muslims are waiting for Islamic enlightenment. They desire to broaden their knowledge of Islam. They are performing prayers with the help of few surahs they have memorized. Evening prayers are performed communally in small houses. On Friday, they perform Friday prayers at the Islamic Union.
The IHH visited the Cuban Muslims in the last Eid al-Adha.