Muslims in New York Prepare for Ramadan

Muslims in New York made their preparations for the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan which will start on August 1st. Hundreds of believers gathered at the Islamic Center of New York mosque, which is on the Upper East Side neighborhood in Manhattan for their Friday prayers. Although they were of numerous different nationalities, Islamic faith unites them as one. Galmal Ahmed, a Muslim from New Yorke said "Look at the gathering, "Nobody force you to come here it's just one call that happened 1400 years ago, and people come Friday. You don't see any community on the face of the Earth gathering together like that. And Ramadan -- from Indonesia to Canada they all fast" The Arab vendor's area of Steinway Street in Astoria Queens has shown loads of purchases from Muslims who are doing the necessary shopping in preparation of the 30 day fasting period. Iman Eltawil a grocery shopper said, Because Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise until sunset during the month, the meals after sunset tend to get bigger and heavier "Ramadan is a time for family meeting, especially on the first day. We pray and we eat special food. It is not like this during the whole year, but during Ramadan we eat a lot," Dalia Choudhry added "During Ramadan we like to eat sweets, because after fasting, especially this month August is very hot. We are looking for special Middle Eastern sweets to eat it after fasting" The diversity of New York grocery, especially Steinway Street with its many Arabic stores made it easy for them to get ingredients to prepare their traditional dishes. Ramadan of this year starts August 1, and ends on or around August 29. Speakers: Galmal Ahmed, Muslim from New York Iman Eltawil, Dalia Choudhry, grocery shoppers Voices: Noora Al Faraj Sara Ghasemilee By: Ikram Al Yacoub Al Arabiya with Agencies

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