Ramadan is usually a time when Muslims spend time at home reconnecting with their family, preparing Iftar with their mothers and staying up all night with their siblings and relatives, playing cards, chatting and eating non-stop after sundown.
But for the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, this year’s Ramadan is unfathomably different. There is no taraweeh, no family gatherings and some people are left spending Ramadan completely alone, miles away from their loved ones.
With Coronavirus and stay-at-home orders already making everyone’s life stressful and anxious; for some, Ramadan in quarantine is making things even worse.
But thanks to the Internet, Muslims are finding a lifeline with new inventive ways of getting together despite the distance. Case in point: Open Iftar, “the world’s largest Iftar”, which has now gone online.
Until now, Open Iftar has been voluntarily organising community Iftars in tents in London, inviting the public to join Muslims breaking their fast every day.
Incapable of bringing communities together IRL, Open Iftar decided to use social media to keep the spirit of Ramadan alive this year, from cooking tutorials and Zoom Iftars to quizzes and talks (exploring topics like representation, compassion and community solidarity).
Want to know how it works? First, you need to register on the website. This is how you’ll get to receive a pack allowing you to host your very own Open Iftar online. But much more than just that, Open Iftar is your chance to connect with hundreds of Muslims worlwide. Every night, guest speakers interact with internauts at 7:15pm UK time until the Athaan (Call to Prayer), which everyone is invited to watch live from their home. You can then attend a virtual Iftar if you like and if you can, donate funds through their website to support those in need during the Holy month.
Feeling lonely? The warmth you’re craving is just one click away. Click here.