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Calgary Family Invites Neighbors to Share Ramadan

CALGARY – A Calgary Muslim family has opened its doors since the beginning of Ramadan, inviting their neighbors to share festivities of the holy month and give back to the community.

“We actually wanted people to come over and see how it is, like, what it is, what do Muslim people do during Ramadan and how do they break the fast, maybe share some of the spirit of Ramadan,” Polad Mirzayev, a Canadian Muslim in Calgary, told CTV Calgary News on Sunday, June 26.

Muslims in North America started fasting on Monday, June 6, on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

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The iftar meal gathered dozens who met each other for the first time, sharing food and conversation.

“They said we’re having a Ramadan get together in the neighborhood, we thought that sounds like a wonderful time to meet some of the neighbors and see some of the folks we don’t yet know from a little further down the street from where we are,” said David Clarke.

“And to learn about new cultures and we’re interested in learning about Ramadan a bit more and to get Alice to learn about it already,” said Genevieve Clarke.

“I’m his neighbor too, but I haven’t met some other neighbors and it’s kind of a neighborhood party type of thing, you know, all of us are here and sharing each other’s thoughts and all things,” said Khalid Choudhary.

For Mirzayev’s family, the month offered them an opportunity to reach out and give back to the community.

Preparing for the event, Mirzayev spent several days going door to door inviting people to the meal at his home and he says it was worth it to turn neighbors into friends.

“We have a lot of stereotypes about Muslims or in general about Islam and stuff and we just want to break the stereotypes because that’s not what it is these days and I want people to feel positive about Islam in general or Muslims in general,” he said.