Grand effort to prepare capital iftar
Thousands break fast at Abu Dhabi mosque
A member of the UAE Armed Forces has spoken of the “privilege” at serving iftar to thousands of people breaking their fast at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
At 6pm daily, a steady stream of people are already filling up iftar tents at the lower garden in the mosque grounds.
And in less than an hour, more than 15,000 men have already taken seats for the biggest daily iftar gathering in the UAE.
Eleven air-conditioned tents have been erected in the gardens - with each accommodating up to 1,500 people each night.
Mohammed Rajab Ali, an Egyptian expat working with the UAE armed forces organising group, said he is proud to be part of the team serving free meals to workers.
“It feels great serving thousands of believers as they break their fast,” he said.
“I serve food to people of various classes and nationalities every day. For me it’s really an honour to cater for fasting people during the Holy Month of Ramadan. I am so happy to be part of the organising team.”
Ali, 29, said he has been part of the team at the mosque for six years now.
On Tuesday, people broke their fast with rice, beef, a vegetable salad, an apple, dates, juice, water, Vitamin C and laban.
Mohammed Kalema, 32, a Ugandan taxi driver, said it was the first time he had broken his fast at the Grand Mosque since moving to the capital last year. “It’s cool and very comfortable,” he said. “I have been impressed by the great organisation in here. I had never had the chance to have iftar with such a big number of people.”
Bangladeshi construction worker, Omar Abdul Kareem said he stays in a labour camp in Musaffah and their company bus transports them daily to the iftar.
“I come here every day to end fast. The food served here is really good,” he said.
Abdul Kareem added: “I’ve been coming at the Grand Mosque for free iftar for the past three years. It’s a good thing for me given my Dhs1,000 monthly salary.”
Thousands of workers from labour camps in Mussafah, Mafraq and Baniyas also flock to the Grand Mosque daily using the free shuttle service to and from the mosque to their accommodations.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, which runs the iftar programme, said this year 20,000 meals are being prepared and delivered daily by the Armed Forces Officers Club.
Emirati Walid Nasser, who is also part of the organising team said: “There are even separate tents for women and children. We love doing this job.”
PRIVILEGE: Mohammed Rajib Ali (left) has described being able to help as a privilege