RALEIGH, NC — The Eid celebration marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan takes place on Monday, May 2. As the Islamic holy month draws to a close, the Muslim community comes together.
The Islamic Association of Raleigh, which serves as a mosque and a gathering place for the Muslim community, is stepping in to ensure that everyone who fasts has a good Ramadan. Volunteers work as a team, from the chef in the kitchen preparing a hot meal to those packing the lunch boxes, to donate food to people in need.
Mohamed Elgamal, a volunteer and chairman of the mosque’s social and welfare committee, oversees the preparation of meals and the direction of the delivery operation.
“The month of Ramadan is not only fasting, but also the month of giving,” Elgamal said. “And giving to the community, giving to people who really need it and helping the poor.”
The demand for free meals is much higher this year. Muslims from all walks of life, such as those from low-income households, students and refugees, show up for the drive-thru.
“Each year, we serve an average of 350 meals. This year it’s over 540 meals,” Elgamal said. “The reason for the increase is the high demand for the meal. And we also have here in the Raleigh area a lot of refugees from Afghanistan, from Syria.
That’s 540 meals a day. All this is made possible thanks to the generous donations of the Muslim community.
“They come and we serve them. I think it will also help them to eat a meal, a hot meal, like all of us at home,” Elgamal said. “But this help is really needed for the community.”
Volunteers of all ages donate their time and money to ensure that every member of the community has a blessed Ramadan.
For refugees who do not have a personal vehicle or means of transport to go to the mosque, the IAR makes home deliveries. The volunteers drop off the food in the homes of the refugees.