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Ramadan in Mexico: the Muslim community seeks to recreate its own moments of spirituality away from the motherland

Thursday, 02 July 2015

With the arrival of Ramadan, bearer of hope, peace of mind, clemency and mercy for all Muslims, nostalgia seizes many members of the Muslim community in Mexico; they are, more than ever, nostalgic for their countries of origin, family warmth, the atmosphere of piety and inherent traditions that distinguish this holy month.

Unlike Islamic societies that provide a special atmosphere for fasting people and adapt their lives to the specificities of this holy month, Ramadan days do not differ from those of other months of the year for the Muslim community living in a non-Muslim society such as the Mexican society.

On this basis, many members of the Arab-Muslim community living in Mexico City do not feel the spiritual atmosphere inherent to this blessed month. Thus, seeking to create a family atmosphere that reminds them of moments forever etched in their memories, when they used to live in their countries of origin, especially as regards to meals prepared for this month.

Muslims in Mexico City, as they are a minority in this country of South America, try by means of available resources to consolidate the culture of solidarity, mutual aid and sharing, hence organizing daily Iftar in the grounds of the mosque Polanco, before performing their religious duties: Al Isha prayer and "Tarawih".

In a statement to the MAP news agency, Mr. Said Ouahhabi, which oversees the educational activities of the cultural center of the Muslim community in Mexico City, says that the collective Iftar is organized, as usual, in coordination with the embassies of Muslim countries (the United Arab Emirates this year for the fourth time).

Those responsible for the mosque go to great lengths to ensure the proper organization of the Iftar for sixty faithful each day, a moment of synergy that recalls the familiar warmth of the past with their own in the motherland.

Mr. Ouahhabi stressed that in addition to the prayers of "Tarawih", which bring together a large Muslim community in Mexico City, the cultural center of the Muslim community offers a varied program of education and worship during this blessed month.

To Abdelmalek M., Moroccan owner of a telecommunications company, rituals and atmosphere that characterize the month of Ramadan are almost nonexistent in Mexico due to the small number of the Muslim community, which, indeed, makes us feel nostalgia for our country of origin.

As for the small Moroccan community, he says that the Iftar menu is enriched with Moroccan delicacies like "Chabakia" and "Sfouf" prepared specifically for this month.

The Muslim community in the City of Mexico, who lives in a metropolis with over 21 million inhabitants, represents a minority, whose members are mainly from Pakistan, besides Mexicans, Moroccans, Syrians, Egyptians and other nationalities.

According to a document from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, entitled "Panorama of Religions in Mexico from 2010", the number of Muslims in Mexico amounted to 3,760 people, including 1,178 established in the federal capital, 417 in the State of Mexico and only 248 in Jalisco.

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