Muslims in the Mideast mark second pandemic Ramadan

By Pablo Perez

Cairo, Apr 12 (EFE).- Muslims across the Middle East will begin fasting on Tuesday, as the holy month of Ramadan gets underway amid restrictions for the second time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each government will impose a set of restrictive measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in a region, where new infections have been trending upwards in recent weeks.

Mosques, unlike last year, will be open for prayers in almost all countries but restrictions due to the coronavirus will limit other practices.

Communal meals, known as charity banquets, have been banned in several countries.

In Saudi Arabia, non-residents will be allowed to enter Mecca and Medina, while accessing the main mosques for performing Ramadan’s evening “taraweeh” prayers will be only limited to those vaccinated against the virus.

Bahrain, known for its rapid vaccination campaign, will allow inoculated citizens to pray taraweeh in mosques, which will shut doors once the prayers end.

However, authorities in most countries will permit mosques to open for the day’s five prayers, in addition to taraweeh.

Ramadan’s taraweeh will be banned in Qatari and Omani mosques, while the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will close mosques immediately after taraweeh.

Egyptian authorities will allow taraweeh prayers, but limited them to half an hour.

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