As Muslims around the world commemorate Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, MBN is bringing Ramadan traditions to millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa.
Alhurra was the only Arabic-language network to have live coverage with simultaneous translation of President Obama’s Iftar Dinner. The television network profiled Muslim families in Seattle and New York to show their Ramadan traditions; as well as Muslim-Americans that work in the government and food industry to discuss how they work and maintain the fast during Ramadan. Alhurra interviewed Saudi college students living in the U.S. about their first Ramadan away from home. While Radio Sawa’s Sawa Magazine profiled how U.S. restaurants are hosting special Ramadan celebrations.
Alhurra had reports from across the Middle East and North Africa about Ramadan celebrations and the challenges facing millions of Muslims in war torn countries. Coverage from Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, Iraq, and the heart of Yemen, demonstrated the dire conditions when food and electricity are scarce during the holy month. RadiaSawa.com examined the ISIL issued fatwas for Ramadan, including one that says women are not allowed to leave their house in the daytime, the closing of barbershops, and the requirement that you must declare your loyalty to ISIL for your fasting to be accepted. MBN’s Afia Darfur profiled how Darfurian refugees are commemorating Ramadan in the refugee camps.
Maintaining a healthy outlook during Ramadan was the focus of several reports on Alhurra and Radio Sawa current affairs programming. Alhurra examined keeping children and the elderly healthy during the month of fasting. Another report discussed going through caffeine and nicotine withdrawal during Ramadan. Alhurra also reported on athletes keeping their strength during the holy month, the importance of nutrition when breaking the fast, watching your weight during Ramadan, as well as the difficulties the first week of fasting can present. Radio Sawa interview a nutritionist for healthy tips while fasting.
Alhurra’s DardeshTAG has special episodes of the interactive program dedicated to Ramadan during the month. DardeshTAG is talking to guests about their experiences and memories during Ramadan and how social media has changed how they mark the holiday. The show also focused on Ramadan traditions of the past and how digital media is connecting people with family members living overseas.
As part of the celebration, Alhurra included well wishes from Arab celebrities for a Happy Ramadan and interviews with people on the streets of Kuwait, Egypt and Tunisia sharing what Ramadan means to them and how this is a time of forgiveness and peace.