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With Prayers for Gaza, New York Muslims Gear Up for Somber Ramadan

As 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide anticipate the holy month of fasting, New York Muslims are gearing up for a somber Ramadan, with many feeling less celebratory this year because of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

“The Muslim community is a very interconnected community all across the world. It’s a very difficult Ramadan for us, and we are definitely feeling for our brothers and sisters there, who are going to be genuinely starving,” said Mohamed Zin, of Egyptian descent, who will be fasting for Ramadan, NY1 reported.

“This month we are fasting, but we can always break our fast, however they won’t be able to do that this year in a proper fashion. We will be sending our prayers and making duaa [Arabic word for prayer] for them.”

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Praying for Gaza

Thikra Mohammad, 20, is of Palestinian heritage from a small village in Ramallah and said she will be fasting this Ramadan with her prayers focused on Gaza.

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“It’s always a celebration, but this year, we’re not celebrating anything, especially with everything going on back home,” Mohammad said. “We are going to be praying for a cease-fire and we’re going to be praying for the people that have passed away. For them, for their families.”

Amid preparations for Ramadan, community members like Adnanne El Elmali, originally from Morocco, express deep concern for Gaza, sharing their prayers for those affected by the conflict, particularly the children.

“I feel very bad about Gaza,” El Elmali said. “We’re praying with the people every day dying, and I feel very bad, because I see a lot of kids dying every day, so we try to stop this war [through prayer].”

As Ramadan is also a time for charity, fundraising efforts may increase to support Gaza during this challenging period. The holy month begins on Sunday night, marking the start of fasting on Monday.