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Ramadan a challenge for migrants trapped in Greece

Gorkha Post

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SCHISTO, GREECE — Expecting twins in a couple of months, Shahnaz Sadat is not obliged to fast for Ramadan — but stuck in a migrant camp in Greece, she’d be hard put to even if she wanted to.

“Every night, every time the food is potato. But we can’t eat it,” said the 22-year-old, who is four months pregnant.

“How can we follow the Ramadan with this food? Food is not good. Especially for women, for children, for pregnant women, for all of them,” she told AFP at the army-run camp of Schisto near Athens.

And for drinking water, they have to queue at the bathroom sink, she said.

Previously a disused army base in Athens’ industrial zone, Schisto houses 1,700 people of all ages, the vast majority from Afghanistan.

Around 700 have expressed an interest in fasting, according to authorities here.

No figures are currently available for the other camps housing over 45,000 people who became trapped in Greece when Balkan nations began shutting their borders to migrants in February.

Greek officials say those fasting are given their sundown meal together with the pre-dawn meal, which they can pack away and eat at their discretion.

“There is a concerted effort to deal with a situation whose scale is unprecedented in Greece,” a government source said.

An official menu provided to AFP includes beans, pasta, rice, chicken, chickpeas, peas, eggs, boiled potato and fruit.

“We checked this with migrant communities and with religion experts from the education ministry,” the government official said.

“Clear instructions have been sent to camp overseers on the topic…we are providing high nutrition value food that can also be kept out of the fridge,” the official added.

Schisto’s civilian supervisor Panagiotis Karakatsanis says that “things are slower” during the day as many of those who fast trying to conserve energy until dusk.

But in the warm summer sun, the tents become so hot that it is difficult to rest, says Shahnaz.

“The tent becomes so warm, so hot,” she said.

To commemorate the divine revelation received by the Prophet Mohammed, during Ramadan, faithful Muslims abstain during daylight hours from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex.

At sunset they break the fast with a meal known as iftar and before dawn have a second opportunity to eat and drink during suhur.

AFP

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Over 20,000 drivers taken action through CCTV monitoring

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KATHMANDU— The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has effectively launched monitoring of vehicles plying on the road through close circuit (CC) camera in Kathmandu valley.

Traffic Police are keeping a close watch on drivers to check whether they are following the traffic rules or not.

A total of 20,024 drivers of various vehicles faced action based on such monitoring. The police begun this bid since 2073 BS and it has become effective so far, said SSP Basanta Panta of the Traffic Division.

Most of the cases were related to violation of the traffic lane and driving on ‘one way’ roads, he added.

The police are monitoring the traffic activities through 460 close circuit cameras installed at the Division Office, Ranipokhari.

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