GAZA CITY: Christians in Palestine took part in Ramadan initiatives to mark the holy month of Muslim fasting.
Aid projects, helping to decorate streets and markets, distributing water and dates before iftar are some of the activities they have taken part in in Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus in the West Bank.
Khalil Kawa, a 41-year-old Christian, distributes dates and drinking water to passers-by at a crossroads in Nablus, a city where Muslims, Christians and Samaritans live side by side.
He said, “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything strange as a Christian and handing out dates and water to those who are fasting. I don’t like to distinguish between a Muslim, a Christian or a Samaritan. We are all Palestinians.
“In 2013, a group of friends and I founded a youth group that we called the Nablus Tour. We are a group of photographers. We walk around the city of Nablus and take photos, distribute sweets on Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and decorate the city as the holy month of Ramadan approaches and during Eid as well. In addition, we distribute dates and water to late fasters.
“It’s a very beautiful feeling that cannot be described, especially since people are waiting for us and asking us before Ramadan if we are ready or if we need something,” he added. .
Kawa pointed out that initially the project was funded by him and his colleagues, but as the group rose to prominence, they often ended up with plentiful funds and supplies from contributions.
In Ramallah, a group of young people launched a Ramadan awareness campaign called “Forgive and shake hands during the month of love”, aimed at spreading positive messages among communities.
In the predominantly Christian town of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, members of the Salesian Scouts and Guides group distributed yoghurt, water and dates.
One of the scouts, Fouad Salman, said: “The people of Bethlehem, Muslims and Christians, inherit love and coexistence from generation to generation, and the march of love must continue.”
The 37-year-old added that he felt proud to belong to Palestine and Bethlehem and had been involved in voluntary activities since childhood, including renewing carpets in mosques.