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A taste of Ramadan in Bucharest

08-19-2010 16:49 BJT

BUCHAREST, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The delicious aroma of freshly cooked food, blended with a light scent of honey and mint, was wafting around the al-Rahman Mosque in Bucharest Wednesday night.

From evening to late night, some 200 people prayed in the white-marble building at the Muslim Cultural Center, and around 300 joined in a feast after a day-long fast.

Among them were not only local Muslims, but also many people from Pakistan, Turkey and other foreign countries. They varied greatly in age, gait and clothing, but all shared the delightful meal.

However, food wasn't the only thing they shared. They also found the gathering a good social occasion to share their joys and sorrows. By chatting, some relieved stress, some received advice, and some regained confidence to face challenges and move on with their life.

It was just a typical Ramadan night in the capital of Romania, a country at the crossroads of the East and the West under both Oriental and Western influences.

Around 80 mosques are scattered across the country, including the 500-year-old Esma han Sultan Mosque in the south, the oldest mosque still operational in a non-Muslim country.

As an important Muslim site in Bucharest, the al-Rahman Mosque is a modern building with futuristic features on the outside. But the exquisite decorations inside, with traditionally sculptured walls and rich chandeliers, are reminiscent of the most famous architectural "jewels" in the Muslim world, such as the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Grand Mosque in Dubai.

Also at the Muslim Cultural Center is an educational center, which houses the only school teaching Arabic in Romania. The facility is also conducting a special program named "Best integration of Muslims into Romanian society" to help Muslims live harmoniously with their Romanian neighbors.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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