Statement on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan by Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean title=

Dear family, friends, and colleagues in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region and around the world,

Later this week, more than a billion and a half Muslims around the world will welcome the start of the holy month of Ramadan. One of the blessings of Ramadan is that Muslims can count on it every year to revive their spiritual and religious practices, which can become diluted among the chaotic hustle and bustle of daily life. While doing so, Muslims are reacquainted and reminded every year of fundamental teachings that they might have overlooked or forgotten along the remaining 11 months.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves marking Ramadan in a new world. As a result, we found ways of practising our usual religious and social traditions with new customs to maintain our faith, while protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

This year, COVID-19 is still part of our daily lives, affecting almost every decision we make and action we take. We have all found ways to adapt, but this does not mean ignoring how serious the situation remains. People are still getting infected and dying – with some of those infected requiring hospitalization, especially the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

In WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean

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