Ramadan and dignity in Piraeus refugee camp

Fasting in Ramadan is a challenge for Muslim refugees stuck in Greece. Authorities provide support by offering sundown and pre-dawn meals, but conditions in refugee camps are abysmal.

Ramadan and dignity in Piraeus refugee camp

World Bulletin / News Desk

For Muslims stranded in Greece, Ramadan proves to be a different challenge altogether. In order to accommodate this cultural need, extra food is distributed in the evening at the port of Piraeus so that people can eat during the night. Help Refugees is an NGO that has been able to support the effort of Greek authorities by funding the distribution of 1,500 fresh wraps every day.

All the food is prepared at the Rakadiko restaurant - with refugees helping with cooking- in Piraeus who have so kindly donated their commercial kitchen space to Khora, a foundation providing support for refugees

Anna Stamou, a Greek woman who has converted to Islam, and her husband, Naim el Ghandour, president of the Muslim Association of Greece. Naim was born in Egypt wait for sunset and Naim's app on his phone signals the sundown with the call to prayer. The

For him, he is grateful for being away from the violence. He fled Egypt in 1967 and says the refugees in a dire situation

"They are way better than if they were there and maybe a bomb would be in their heads right now and they would celebrate no Ramadan, no nothing," he says.

But the best Ramadan blessing would be to end the fighting. "I wish there would be a solution with Europe to stop the war," he says. "Because this is the issue — to stop the war. All of them want to go back. We certainly wish that next Ramadan will find us without war."

For many refugees, the distribution of aid from NGO's is a welcome relief. The hot sun of Greece makes it essential to have access to a safe space to wash. The main message that from refugees is that showers help to restore a little dignity and pride in themselves, also allowing them a much needed moment of rare privacy.

Each person who comes for a shower is provided with shampoo, conditioner, a razor and (for the women) feminine hygiene products. Sun tan lotion is also given with children returning all day to top up, protecting them from burning.

There are approximately 3,000 refugees currently in Piraeus port.

 

 

Last Mod: 18 Haziran 2016, 11:50
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