Ramadan fasting during Stampede hard for some taxi drivers
About half of Calgary's cab drivers are Muslim
Many Calgary taxi drivers are facing a challenge this week as Ramadan coincides with the Stampede for the first time in decades.
During the Islamic holy month, the faithful fast from dawn until sunset.
But for the roughly 50 per cent of the city’s cab drivers who are Muslim, the timing is terrible — sunset is the peak time for picking up fares at the grounds.
"We can't skip Ramadan, we can't skip Stampede. How am I going to do this?" said Rasheed Gobara.
According to Atthar Mahmood, vice president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, most Muslims will feel compelled to fast — working or not.
"Fasting is the order from God. So we have to do it," he said.
The city was working on a plan to have a central location near the Stampede for drivers to break their fast and pray.
That would make things easier for drivers and make more cabs available for people leaving the Stampede at night, Gobara said.
"I hope we can organize, all together, somewhere close to Stampede," he said.
The Islamic calendar moves back 10 days every year, meaning the same issue will come up again for the next few years.