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Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Hosts Grand Annual Iftar Celebration for Ramadan


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In Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, a significant gathering of Ethiopian Muslims took place for the annual Grand Street Iftar, a cherished tradition where Muslims break their fast during Ramadan. Throughout Wednesday, preparations unfolded for the event, culminating in a communal breaking of bread on Thursday, symbolizing the unity and communal spirit of Ramadan.

Observing the holy month of Ramadan involves worship, acts of charity, and fasting from dawn until dusk, with Muslims worldwide participating in these practices.

The organizers of the mass iftar anticipated a sizable turnout, reflecting the event’s increasing popularity over the past four years. Hikma Sani, a 17-year-old participant and volunteer coordinator, highlighted the importance of communal support during Ramadan, emphasizing the responsibility to uplift and assist one another during the fasting month.

The timing of the Grand Street Iftar is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, often coinciding with the 17th day of Ramadan. This date holds particular significance for Ethiopian Muslims, symbolizing the historic victory of Prophet Muhammad and his followers in the Battle of Badr in the 7th century, as elucidated by Abubeker Ahmed, a respected Islamic scholar and coordinator of the Grand Street Iftar. Additionally, it commemorates Ethiopia’s triumph over the Italian army at Adwa in 1896, with Ethiopian Muslim warriors bravely observing the Ramadan fast during the battle.

During the mass iftar, participants partake in a communal meal featuring traditional Ethiopian cuisine, including injera bread, stews, and vegetables. The event fosters unity as attendees gather to share food, prayers, and conversations, creating a sense of community and camaraderie.

For many, the Grand Street Iftar symbolizes interfaith harmony, reflecting Ethiopia’s history of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians. Fuad Muhdin, a journalist and frequent attendee of the annual iftar, noted the event’s peaceful ambiance, showcasing the Muslim community’s commitment to peace and unity.

The event drew a diverse crowd, including prominent figures, government officials, religious leaders, and individuals from various backgrounds, underscoring the significance of communal gatherings in fostering unity and solidarity within Ethiopian society.

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