World Bulletin / News Desk
Ethiopian students and families in capital Ankara got an opportunity to break their fast together on Tuesday.
From high school students to Ph.D. candidates, everyone got a taste of home during iftar time with delicious snacks such as the Sambusa, spring rolls, and oat soup followed by Ethiopian traditional meal called Enjera (spongy bread) with traditional sausages.
The social gathering had been organized by volunteer students in Ankara.
Abdurahman Mohammed Molu -- former president of Association of Ethiopian students in Turkey (AEST) and a Ph.D. student, said: "We Ethiopians live in extended families, there is always a number of people around us at Iftar time but in here almost all of us have nuclear families so we wanted to bring the good feeling and memories of back home by breaking our fast together as citizens of one country, as a family.
“The other reason we tend to have multiple Iftar gatherings is, people are really busy here and Ramadan Iftar time gives them a break to revive their social lives, we wanted to use that opportunity. Some of our brothers and sisters also live in dormitories where they can't prepare our traditional foods, so this Iftar event will remind them our local tastes and make them happy."
Yasin Mohammed Ali, another Ph.D, student, said: "The thing I liked most here is that in this month people don't have to worry about what to eat and drink after such long hours of fasting since there are many governmental and nongovernmental organizations which serve Iftar for free.”
About challenges of having Ramadan in Turkey, Ali said: "Fasting for long hours is unusual for people who come from Africa.
“The Taraawih [special prayers held in Ramadan] in most mosques here is a little bit fast...compared to my Ethiopian experience where Taraawih prayers are the most attractive part of Ramadan since it will give people a chance to listen to the Holy Quran with a mesmerizing recitation."
There are more than 350 Ethiopian students in Turkey.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion.
Throughout the course of the fasting month, Muslims are urged to perform extra prayers, recite the Quran, give to the poor and refrain from misbehavior.
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