A Bittersweet Anniversary Image

Grenfell Tower, an apartment building that is a 10-minute walk from the mosque, had gone up in flames, leaving more than 70 people dead. By the morning of June 14, 2017, 203 families were homeless, and most had lost nearly all of their possessions. More than half of the victims were Muslims.

A Bittersweet Anniversary Image

World Bulletin / News Desk

Abdurahman Sayed doesn’t know where he got the energy. Last year during Ramadan, the busiest time of the year for Muslims, Mr. Sayed, the director of Al Manaar mosque in West London, found himself thrust into a crisis that went on for weeks.

For the days that followed, the mosque stayed open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide food and shelter. Mr. Sayed spent every spare moment there, traveling home only to take a quick shower and change his clothes. He continued his Ramadan fast and barely slept.

“Sleeping was not really so much of a necessity in those days,” he said. “When you are handling a major crisis, things like your own welfare become less important.”
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A year later, things have mostly calmed down, though many scars remain. But this is a striking moment for Muslims: Eid al-Fitr, traditionally a celebration with family and friends marking the end of the monthlong Ramadan fast, is expected to follow the day after the fire started a year ago.
That was the bittersweet juxtaposition that many Muslims in London faced on Thursday. The Grenfell survivors have already gone through one Eid al-Fitr celebration. It arrived two weeks after the fire last year while many were still in shock.

“I expect this year will be another stark reminder of what they have lost in their lives,” said Madiha Raza, a communications coordinator at Muslim Aid, a charity that has raised more than $235,000 for the Grenfell survivors.

“The atmosphere will be very somber,” Ms. Raza said, with many Grenfell survivors and relatives of those who died among the worshipers at Al Manaar.

Last Mod: 15 Haziran 2018, 09:47
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