Israel's Muslims begin Ramadan fast amid heat wave that has been sweeping Israel in the past few days. ; Umm al-Fahm resident: I'm taking a month off because I cannot work in the sun and fast at the same time-
Ramadan kareem- Millions of Muslims around the world marked the beginning of the Ramadan holy month on Friday. The Muslim holy month is devoted to dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and good deeds culminating with the three-day holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
Israeli Muslims are gearing up for the month-long fast, which is made more difficult due to the heat wave that has been sweeping Israel in the past few days.
Kfar Qassem resident Omar Sarsur told Ynet that "despite the difficult fasting, one must remember that after all the Ramadan is a joyful holiday."
Meanwhile, Umm al-Fahm resident Tyser Mahmid, who works in road construction, said he prefers not to work during the holiday. "I took a month-long vacation because I can't work in the sun and fast at the same time.
"During Ramadan, you cannot walk around in the mornings and afternoon. You pray most of the time and then in the evening we go visit relatives and stay up late," he added.
Amir Assi, from the Kiryat Ono Academic College noted that "it takes a few days to get accustomed to the 15-hour fast, which lasts from sunrise until sunset and is broken with the Iftar meal."
Muslims believe God revealed the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan, which starts with the sighting of the new moon. The Muslim lunar calendar moves back through the seasons, so Ramadan starts 11 days earlier each year under the Western calendar.
During the month of Ramadan, charity organizations often give money to Muslim families in need. Earlier this week, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, distributed food stamps to some 2,400 families in the Arab sector ahead of the holiday, estimated at a total of NIS 800,000 (about $200,000).
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