For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is a time for praying together, sharing meals and charity. With the arrival of COVID-19, Ramadan in 2020 has been like no other. Some mosques have hosted virtual prayers or invited people in to pray at a safe, social distance. Important meals such as suhoor (morning meal before the fast) and iftar (breaking fast at the end of the day) have been observed more carefully, under the shadow of the pandemic.
Health experts involved in the fight to stop Covid-19 say the traditional Ramadan practice of family gatherings and charity — such cooking communal meals for those in need — has posed many challenges. But in this first episode of Red Cross Red Crescent magazine’s Expert Sources, health practitioners in various parts of the Muslim world say Ramadan’s values of reflection and personal growth has also offered many unique opportunities.
In places where conflict or crisis means basic services are scarce, the use of data is saving lives. But protecting people’s physical well-being, experts say, is also about protecting their digital profile in cyberspace.
As a biologist who responds to emergencies for the Spanish Red Cross, Eva Turró has found her place in the humanitarian world, raising awareness about the life-saving link between health and hygiene in the wake of calamity.