News ID: 8523
Publish Date: 12 June 2012 - 15:47
As preparations are in full swing for this year’s Olympic Games in London, Muslim mosques are preparing to host iftar program for thousands of athletes and visitors who will flood the British capital for the sporting event during the fasting month of Ramadan.

"The fact that you will never have a Ramadan, and Olympics, in London, at the same time, ever again,” British hockey star Darren Cheesman, a Muslim convert, told ABS-CBN news on Tuesday, June 12.

"It's a great way to use something that the whole country is going to be focused on, and saying: 'Hold on, there's another big event going on this month -- Ramadan,” Cheesman added while displayed his sporting skills to local scouts at the event.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, is expected to start in July 20 through August. It will coincide with the London Olympics, which is scheduled to start on July 27 to August 12.

The program, organized by London's Islamic Cultural Centre and London mosques, is based on hosting thousands of athletes and visitors who will flood the British capital for the sporting event. Participating mosques will serve Iftars or evening meals to break the fast to visitors, welcome athletes to their premises and celebrate the event with non-Muslims.

"There's a load of Muslims in this country who are all there and let's use it as a chance to open our doors and build community links and start to show each other what we are really about,” Cheesman said. Haafizah Ahmed, another scout, was yearning to the experience of fasting Ramadan during the Olympics. "It's good because we learn new skills and we haven't played with a real Olympic champion before," Ahmed said.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset. The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks. Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

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