Welcome to the Table! Iftars from Around the World

Published May 29th, 2017 - 08:17 GMT

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Muslims from around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan through fasting. Food, liquid, cigarettes and engaging in any sexual relations is prohibited from sunrise to sunset. It is a time of religious observance and spiritual reflection as it is believed that God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Muhammad during Ramadan.

However, once the evening prayer sounds, life awakens and people gather at home or in public to break their fast, known as Iftar. Dinners are rich including multiple courses of traditional dishes that vary from country to country. 

Have a look at the different Iftar (breaking fast) dinners form around the world.

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Most Muslims break their fast with fruits, dates and some milk, juice or water. This snack, which is often taken before the evening prayer, provides quick energy and reflects the chosen snack of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10Most Muslims break their fast with fruits, dates and some milk, juice or water. This snack, which is often taken before the evening prayer, provides quick energy and reflects the chosen snack of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Following the maghreb prayer, Muslims gather later in the evening to enjoy the main meal, often shared with friends and family. It is a social event that usually starts with a lighter appetizer like a soup. In Saudi Arabia, one of the most popular appetizers is the Quaker soup, which is rich in oat fiber and can be made with chicken or lamb meat.
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10Following the maghreb prayer, Muslims gather later in the evening to enjoy the main meal, often shared with friends and family. It is a social event that usually starts with a lighter appetizer like a soup. In Saudi Arabia, one of the most popular appetizers is the Quaker soup, which is rich in oat fiber and can be made with chicken or lamb meat.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
A family in Gaza shares an Iftar dinner during Ramadan. The most popular dish in Palestine is Maqlube, upside-down, which is made with rice, eggplant and meat or chicken, cooked in a pot and flipped up-side down when served. However, due to the situation in Gaza, many families cannot afford buying more than the basic necessities.
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Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10A family in Gaza shares an Iftar dinner during Ramadan. The most popular dish in Palestine is Maqlube, upside-down, which is made with rice, eggplant and meat or chicken, cooked in a pot and flipped up-side down when served. However, due to the situation in Gaza, many families cannot afford buying more than the basic necessities.

(Source: AFP/ Mohammed Abed)

Enlarge
Sweets are an important part of Ramadan. The traditional 'Jalebi“ sweets are popular in Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent. Jabeli are made of deep-frying maida flour batter, which is subsequently soaked in syrup and takes the shape of a bretzel or spiral. In Iran, people give these sweets to the poor during Ramadan.
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Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10Sweets are an important part of Ramadan. The traditional "Jalebi“ sweets are popular in Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent. Jabeli are made of deep-frying maida flour batter, which is subsequently soaked in syrup and takes the shape of a bretzel or spiral. In Iran, people give these sweets to the poor during Ramadan.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Many Muslims who have arrived in Europe as refugees struggle to get enough food for Iftar. Travelers are usually exempted from fasting. Yet, many refugees still keep Ramadan, given the Holy Month’s spiritual and religious importance. Often, they depend on food deliveries, which makes it difficult to maintain their Ramadan customs.
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10Many Muslims who have arrived in Europe as refugees struggle to get enough food for Iftar. Travelers are usually exempted from fasting. Yet, many refugees still keep Ramadan, given the Holy Month’s spiritual and religious importance. Often, they depend on food deliveries, which makes it difficult to maintain their Ramadan customs.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Fighters from the Syrian army gather for a simple Iftar dinner. Inflation and extremely high food prices have made it costly for many people to afford Iftar meals. Often, families cannot afford dates and milk to break their fast. Many also live without the traditional sweets, due to the skyrocketing prices for sugar.
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Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10Fighters from the Syrian army gather for a simple Iftar dinner. Inflation and extremely high food prices have made it costly for many people to afford Iftar meals. Often, families cannot afford dates and milk to break their fast. Many also live without the traditional sweets, due to the skyrocketing prices for sugar.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Food prepared in Africa during Ramadan is radically different from the dishes prepared in the Arab world. Although most people break their fast with dates and a sugary drink, local dishes are served during the main course. In East Africa, the doro wett, a spiced chicken stew, is especially popular. It is eaten with a spongy bread known as Injera.
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Food prepared in Africa during Ramadan is radically different from the dishes prepared in the Arab world. Although most people break their fast with dates and a sugary drink, local dishes are served during the main course. In East Africa, the doro wett, a spiced chicken stew, is especially popular. It is eaten with a spongy bread known as Injera.

(Source: AFP/ Issouf Sanogo)

Enlarge
A table in the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, is stuffed with traditional food for Ramadan including samosas (deep fried pastry wraps, filled with minced meat and/or vegetables), pakora (sliced vegetables, dipped in batter and deep-fried) or chatni and namak para (seasoned cracker). Popular sweets during Ramadan include Jabeli.
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Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10A table in the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, is stuffed with traditional food for Ramadan including samosas (deep fried pastry wraps, filled with minced meat and/or vegetables), pakora (sliced vegetables, dipped in batter and deep-fried) or chatni and namak para (seasoned cracker). Popular sweets during Ramadan include Jabeli.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Malaysian Muslims break their fast on the first day of the Islamic holy month in Kuala Lumpur. During the night, markets offer a rich variety of different drinks including the bandung drink, made of milk with rose syrup or soybean milk mixed with grass jelly. For those, who cannot afford an Iftar meal, mosques offer a local rice porridge for free.
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Malaysian Muslims break their fast on the first day of the Islamic holy month in Kuala Lumpur. During the night, markets offer a rich variety of different drinks including the bandung drink, made of milk with rose syrup or soybean milk mixed with grass jelly. For those, who cannot afford an Iftar meal, mosques offer a local rice porridge for free.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Providing charities, known as Zakat, is an integral part of Ramadan and one of the five pillars of Islam. Here, an Iraqi Kurdish woman prepares the Iftar for families who fled the violence Northern Iraq.
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Providing charities, known as Zakat, is an integral part of Ramadan and one of the five pillars of Islam. Here, an Iraqi Kurdish woman prepares the Iftar for families who fled the violence Northern Iraq.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge

1

Most Muslims break their fast with fruits, dates and some milk, juice or water. This snack, which is often taken before the evening prayer, provides quick energy and reflects the chosen snack of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Image 1 of 10Most Muslims break their fast with fruits, dates and some milk, juice or water. This snack, which is often taken before the evening prayer, provides quick energy and reflects the chosen snack of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

(Source: AFP)

2

Following the maghreb prayer, Muslims gather later in the evening to enjoy the main meal, often shared with friends and family. It is a social event that usually starts with a lighter appetizer like a soup. In Saudi Arabia, one of the most popular appetizers is the Quaker soup, which is rich in oat fiber and can be made with chicken or lamb meat.

Image 2 of 10Following the maghreb prayer, Muslims gather later in the evening to enjoy the main meal, often shared with friends and family. It is a social event that usually starts with a lighter appetizer like a soup. In Saudi Arabia, one of the most popular appetizers is the Quaker soup, which is rich in oat fiber and can be made with chicken or lamb meat.

(Source: AFP)

3

A family in Gaza shares an Iftar dinner during Ramadan. The most popular dish in Palestine is Maqlube, upside-down, which is made with rice, eggplant and meat or chicken, cooked in a pot and flipped up-side down when served. However, due to the situation in Gaza, many families cannot afford buying more than the basic necessities.

Image 3 of 10A family in Gaza shares an Iftar dinner during Ramadan. The most popular dish in Palestine is Maqlube, upside-down, which is made with rice, eggplant and meat or chicken, cooked in a pot and flipped up-side down when served. However, due to the situation in Gaza, many families cannot afford buying more than the basic necessities.

(Source: AFP/ Mohammed Abed)

4

Sweets are an important part of Ramadan. The traditional 'Jalebi“ sweets are popular in Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent. Jabeli are made of deep-frying maida flour batter, which is subsequently soaked in syrup and takes the shape of a bretzel or spiral. In Iran, people give these sweets to the poor during Ramadan.

Image 4 of 10Sweets are an important part of Ramadan. The traditional "Jalebi“ sweets are popular in Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent. Jabeli are made of deep-frying maida flour batter, which is subsequently soaked in syrup and takes the shape of a bretzel or spiral. In Iran, people give these sweets to the poor during Ramadan.

(Source: AFP)

5

Many Muslims who have arrived in Europe as refugees struggle to get enough food for Iftar. Travelers are usually exempted from fasting. Yet, many refugees still keep Ramadan, given the Holy Month’s spiritual and religious importance. Often, they depend on food deliveries, which makes it difficult to maintain their Ramadan customs.

Image 5 of 10Many Muslims who have arrived in Europe as refugees struggle to get enough food for Iftar. Travelers are usually exempted from fasting. Yet, many refugees still keep Ramadan, given the Holy Month’s spiritual and religious importance. Often, they depend on food deliveries, which makes it difficult to maintain their Ramadan customs.

(Source: AFP)

6

Fighters from the Syrian army gather for a simple Iftar dinner. Inflation and extremely high food prices have made it costly for many people to afford Iftar meals. Often, families cannot afford dates and milk to break their fast. Many also live without the traditional sweets, due to the skyrocketing prices for sugar.

Image 6 of 10Fighters from the Syrian army gather for a simple Iftar dinner. Inflation and extremely high food prices have made it costly for many people to afford Iftar meals. Often, families cannot afford dates and milk to break their fast. Many also live without the traditional sweets, due to the skyrocketing prices for sugar.

(Source: AFP)

7

Food prepared in Africa during Ramadan is radically different from the dishes prepared in the Arab world. Although most people break their fast with dates and a sugary drink, local dishes are served during the main course. In East Africa, the doro wett, a spiced chicken stew, is especially popular. It is eaten with a spongy bread known as Injera.

Image 7 of 10Food prepared in Africa during Ramadan is radically different from the dishes prepared in the Arab world. Although most people break their fast with dates and a sugary drink, local dishes are served during the main course. In East Africa, the doro wett, a spiced chicken stew, is especially popular. It is eaten with a spongy bread known as Injera.

(Source: AFP/ Issouf Sanogo)

8

A table in the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, is stuffed with traditional food for Ramadan including samosas (deep fried pastry wraps, filled with minced meat and/or vegetables), pakora (sliced vegetables, dipped in batter and deep-fried) or chatni and namak para (seasoned cracker). Popular sweets during Ramadan include Jabeli.

Image 8 of 10A table in the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, is stuffed with traditional food for Ramadan including samosas (deep fried pastry wraps, filled with minced meat and/or vegetables), pakora (sliced vegetables, dipped in batter and deep-fried) or chatni and namak para (seasoned cracker). Popular sweets during Ramadan include Jabeli.

(Source: AFP)

9

Malaysian Muslims break their fast on the first day of the Islamic holy month in Kuala Lumpur. During the night, markets offer a rich variety of different drinks including the bandung drink, made of milk with rose syrup or soybean milk mixed with grass jelly. For those, who cannot afford an Iftar meal, mosques offer a local rice porridge for free.

Image 9 of 10Malaysian Muslims break their fast on the first day of the Islamic holy month in Kuala Lumpur. During the night, markets offer a rich variety of different drinks including the bandung drink, made of milk with rose syrup or soybean milk mixed with grass jelly. For those, who cannot afford an Iftar meal, mosques offer a local rice porridge for free.

(Source: AFP)

10

Providing charities, known as Zakat, is an integral part of Ramadan and one of the five pillars of Islam. Here, an Iraqi Kurdish woman prepares the Iftar for families who fled the violence Northern Iraq.

Image 10 of 10Providing charities, known as Zakat, is an integral part of Ramadan and one of the five pillars of Islam. Here, an Iraqi Kurdish woman prepares the Iftar for families who fled the violence Northern Iraq.

(Source: AFP)

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