Edmonton

Second Ramadan during pandemic 'a blessing and a challenge,' Muslim association says

Muslims in Edmonton are finding ways to safely celebrate the holy month of Ramadan together as pandemic restrictions again limit in-person gatherings.

Evening call to prayer will again be broadcast outside Edmonton mosques

Yasin Cetin with the Muslim Association of Canada says his organization is trying to maintain a sense of community in Edmonton as Muslims celebrate a second Ramadan during the pandemic. (Emily Fitzpatrick)

Muslims in Edmonton are finding ways to safely celebrate Ramadan together as pandemic restrictions again limit in-person gatherings.

Tuesday marked the beginning of the Islamic holy month of fasting, prayer, and self-reflection. 

Under public health rules in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, mosques and other places of worship in Alberta are limited to 15 per cent capacity, which will curb some traditional celebrations.

Yasin Cetin, community outreach and engagement adviser for the Muslim Association of Canada, said the association has worked with the City of Edmonton to foster a sense of community during Ramadan.

Mosques can again broadcast three minutes of the adhan, a call to prayer, on loudspeakers every evening so people can participate while staying physically distanced and respecting capacity limits.

"Most folks will just come out to hear the adhan, will sit in their car, will break their fast in their car with their family and have the windows open on a nice spring day," Cetin said.

Cetin said the city also lit the High Level Bridge green for the beginning of Ramadan and will do the same next month for the end, Eid.

He called a second Ramadan during the pandemic "a blessing and a challenge." It means spending more time with his family but also the absence of some community celebrations — including the bits he and his friends never expected to miss.

"We even miss some of the things that used to annoy us, like looking for our missing sandals in the shoe area, or 'Who is double-parked behind me?' or 'Who ate all the samosas in the buffet line?'" Cetin said, chuckling.

"The things that we used to complain about are still some of the things that I think we sometimes miss the most."

With files from Emily Fitzpatrick

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