Muslims around the world will mark the end of Ramadan today. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, lasting from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next, which is traditionally dedicated to fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community to commemoration Muhammad’s first revelation.
But like everything else, Ramadan was impacted by COVID last year and has been again this year. Specifically, the iftar meal that breaks the fast at the end of each day is usually shared by friends, family, and strangers alike but to stem the tide of the pandemic these gatherings have remained highly limited. Enter Mariam Yehia.
As highlighted by APNews, a few years ago, Mariam, her mom and a friend started a Ramadan tradition of bringing hot meals to the needy in Cairo to observe iftar together.
“We feel really good that we try as much as we can to help people,” Yehia said. But “we feel always that we’re not doing enough.”
This year, when Mariam read the story of Mahmoud Kamal, she found a way to do more. Kamal, a chef by training, was struggling financially due to COVID, and so she decided to purchase her iftar meals for herself and those in need in Cairo from him to bolster
She and her group placed a first order of 60 meals that included chicken, rice and vegetables. For a little extra money, Kamal added dates and juice.
In Egypt, free communal iftar meals typically see strangers huddled around long tables on the street to break their fast together. But such tables were banned due to the coronavirus, and Yehia felt the need to give had been amplified.
Yehia then decided to make a post of her own, recommending the meals and encouraging people to either order from Kamal or suggest other cooks who may also need more business. Her post ended up getting about a thousand shares.
“The idea of going an extra mile to do two good things instead of one in one simple act, I think this is what resonated with people,” she said. “It’s all about encouraging people to do good things.”
Read more about Mariam Yehia and her efforts at APNews.com