RAMADAN: Communal iftar, an expression of social solidarity and compassion

Organizers set the venue to receive fasting people and arrange the quality and variety of food served. (SPA)
Updated 16 May 2019

RAMADAN: Communal iftar, an expression of social solidarity and compassion

SAKAKA: Community iftar in the holy month of Ramadan is one of the most rewarding deeds. The Prophet said: “Whoever gives iftar to a fasting person will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the person in the slightest,” and in this holy month, communal iftars are abundant in a number of mosques in Al-Jouf cities and some external roadways.

Good and affluent people, along with charities and advocacy offices, compete to organize communal iftars where residents of different nationalities come together in a spiritual, brotherly and friendly ambiance even though most of them had never met each other except in communal iftars, and the big mosques are these charitable events’ venues.

Communal iftar organizers prepare the venues properly and decently to receive fasting people; they set up air-conditioning and appropriate furniture and make sure the place is clean to receive the biggest number possible. They also prepare a variety of food and drinks at the dining table, such as dates, juices and drinking water, dairy products, pastries, sweets, fruits and soup, in addition to rice, chicken, meat, coffee, tea and other items.

Organizers set the venue to receive fasting people and arrange the quality and variety of food served and many iftars have adopted “meat and rice” as the main course.

Mohammed Al-Ali who volunteers in organizing communal iftars, said that his role, along with his fellows, is to prepare the place and dining tables, receive fasting people, organize their seats without crowding each other, remove the remaining food and distribute it.

“The most notable challenges are the organization of the big number of people who come daily, which may result in a shortage of meals when the turnout is more than expected. The opposite happens sometimes, and there is a surplus of meals, however, the former happens more than the latter,” he said.

Resident Abdul Samad expressed his happiness about the organizers’ hospitality and fairness in treating Arabs and non-Arabs alike. He commended the good organization and quality of meals served.

Mohammed Mahmoud said that communal iftars found in most mosques exemplify the citizens’ hospitality and their kindness. He described the communal iftars as the perfect location to catch up with friends in the holy month of Ramadan.

Khaled Al-Anzi, one of the organizers, said that communal Iftars in the holy month are positive events for legal, social and advocacy reasons. He noted that the social reasons are evident since communal iftars are a meeting place for people of different nationalities and languages, which promotes unity and promotes compassion and social solidarity in Islam. Feeding others embodies the Goodness of the Creator and helps some people with scarce resources, he said.

Flights from Madinah airport for departing Hajj pilgrims continue

Updated 8 min 8 sec ago

Flights from Madinah airport for departing Hajj pilgrims continue

MADINAH: Flights departing from Prince Mohammad bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah continue to transport pilgrims to their countries after performing Hajj and visiting the city to pray in the Prophet’s Mosque.
The airport is witnessing continuous efforts to receive pilgrims, work on their travel procedures and transport their luggage in a timely manner, in collaboration with all parties involved in Hajj.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) provides an integrated operational plan to serve pilgrims leaving Madinah after performing Hajj.
Three lounges have been set up at the airport to receive departing pilgrims, with more than 3,000 flights until Sept. 15.
Hajj halls and international lounges were prepared to ensure a smooth flow at the airport. There are also 104 desks for completing travel procedures, 60 for passport procedures, 24 gates directly connected to aircraft via bridges, and nine gates to transport passengers between planes and lounges by bus.
An external area was prepared to receive pilgrims’ luggage in advance of their departure, as were several plazas extending over 10,000 square meters and equipped with all the necessary amenities. There is also a parking area that can accommodate 250 buses.
The commander of Hajj security forces, Brig. Gen. Fawaz bin Qalit Al-Faqir, said all necessary actions have been taken for the completion of departure procedures, the duration of which does not exceed 30 seconds per pilgrim.