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.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.