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Muslims in Misrata prepare for Ramadan

07-31-2011 15:17 BJT Special Report:Int'l Intervention in Libya |

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Libya's third largest city of Misrata has seen more than its fair share of fighting as rebels seek to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi after four decades of rule.

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, the city is facing a shortage of food and high prices, while its young fighters vow to continue their battle against government forces.

It might be a bittersweet Ramadan for people in Misrata this year.

The holy month can begin on Sunday or Monday depending on when the new crescent moon is sighted. But residents of the city can expect no relief to their hardships.

Locals say markets are now short of food, with prices rising as demand clearly exceeds supply. Foods traditionally consumed during Ramadan, like dates, are a rare sight in the central market.

Mohammed Abu Zreeba, stall owner, said, "Dates do not have a long shelf life, our best dates are in the Gaddafi-controlled south which is far from us and cannot be reached by sea. Cars and other modes of transportation can not make it here."

But there are still some hopes for the holiday season.

At the largest mosque in Misrata, Muslims are praying for a rebel victory on the frontline. They are required by their faith to fast from food, drink and intercourse during daylight hours in Ramadan.

Sheikh Hussein Mohammed, mosque imam, said, "We will come into Ramadan soon and it will be a Ramadan of freedom and democracy. We can practice Islam in its true sense unlike before when we were forced to be ignorant."

The holy month will also see rebel fighters fasting on the frontlines whilst fighting pro-Gaddafi forces out in the summer heat.

Fighter Ahmed al-Qusayir admits it will be a tough challenge, but says fighters will undoubtedly adapt and continue the fight.

Ahmed Al-Qusayir, rebel fighter, said, "Ramadan this year will not be difficult, God willing. We will fight against Gaddafi and, God willing, we will be victorious."

While government forces will try to put more pressure on the western alliance led by NATO to stop bombing during the holy month, rebels say Islam does not forbid warfare at any time.


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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