CAIRO: With the advent of Ramadan, several Christian churches and organizations have organized Rahman or Mercy banquets for Muslims at iftar, to foster a spirit of tolerance and unity.
Maya Morsi, president of Egypt’s National Council for Women, praised Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, for providing food to help the poor, and his supervision of the packing of the cartons that are titled “Love Never Falls.”
Morsi posted on her Facebook account, saying: “Love never falls. Pope Tawadros II helps collect charitable donations for distribution in Ramadan. We are in a bond until doomsday.”
Last week, Pope Tawadros II participated in the preparation of Ramadan food aid as part of the Coptic Orthodox Church’s charity drive, through several programs and institutions affiliated with the Pontifical Office for Projects.
In the city of Luxor, in southern Egypt, a number of Copts set up daily Ramadan iftar tables.
Romani Ramzi Ajaibi, one of the organizers of the iftar project, said 10 years ago he started with a number of his brothers and other relatives to provide food for iftar, a tradition initiated by his father.
Ajaibi told Arab News: “The organization of the banquet confirms that the Coptic and the Muslim are brothers in one homeland. Everyone is currently fasting, with some minor differences between them.”
He explained: “The iftar banquet table contains all meals daily, including meat and poultry, and professional chefs working in hotels are used to prepare it. And more than 500 meals are provided for hospital patients.”
Bishoy Ramzy, another organizer, told Arab News: “There are other meals that are distributed to the poor daily and delivered to their homes by those who are ashamed to go to the iftar banquet table (to take charity).”
Ramzi stressed: “I believe that compassion and cohesion between Muslims and Christians only generate love among all.”
In Alexandria Governorate, in northern Egypt, the Church of the Virgin Mary and Pope Kyrillos VI in the El-Zawaida area, east of Alexandria, distributed 250 bags of Ramadan necessities to the most vulnerable families in the Montazah neighborhood.
Yones Adeeb, pastor of the Catholic Church in Hurghada, a Red Sea Governorate city, also joined Muslims for iftar, taking food to people on the streets. Adeeb participates regularly in Islamic celebrations, including distributing sweets on Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.
Adeeb said: “This year, we prepared Ramadan bags to distribute to the needy, as the blessed month of Ramadan carries spiritual and humanitarian meanings.”
“I always share iftar with our Muslim brothers on the first days of Ramadan.”