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Cameroon: Coronavirus frustrates Ramadan festivities

Muslim faithful in Cameroon praying during 2019 feast of Tabaski (c) copyright

Muslim faithful in Cameroon Sunday joined some of their peers worldwide to celebrate the feast of the Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan without the usual pomp and fanfare because of the restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic which continue to make victims.

The feast of Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim observance that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, usually characterized by congregational prayers and public feasting.

This year, the observance of the Eid al-Fitr came amidst a global pandemic, the Coronavirus which has so far claimed close to two hundred victims in Cameroon amongst over four thousand infected in close to three months.

In order to respect the restrictions imposed by the Government and the World Health Organization to stem the rapid spread of this deadly pandemic, Muslim faithful were asked to pray home and the few ones allowed to pray in mosques did so in strict compliance of COVID-19 restrictive measures.

There were no throngs of people dressed in their choicest outfits seen along the pavements or taking pictures at some specific sites as it used to be during past celebrations.

Another issue about the Muslim feast that was affected by the health crisis this year is the Zakat-ul-fitr, the obligatory act of charity paid to the poor and needy before performing prayers.

Many Muslim faithful disclosed they couldn’t perform this ritual because of the need to respect anti-Coronavirus measures.

In past years, after the prayers in mosques, Muslims used to visit their relatives, friends, and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers, or rented halls for festivities.

This year, it was simply impossible to do so because of the need to respect the social distancing anti-Coronavirus measure.

“I cannot really say we had a feast of Ramadan this year, things were so much different from what we are accustomed to…” Siddik Amadou, Muslim faithful told Journal du Cameroun.

 


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Published on 28.04.2020

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