Muslims across western Sydney are preparing for the Islamic holy month, including Woodpark family the El-Kadomis.
For approximately 30 days from before sunrise on Saturday, father of seven and grandfather of 16 Neil El-Kadomi and his family will forgo food and water each day from dawn until dusk.
After the sun has set, they will break their fast with prayers and a serving of food known as ‘‘iftar’’, which can take place in the home or in a mosque.
‘‘Fasting is for the rich to feel what the poor feel,’’ said Mr El-Kadomi, 68, chairman of the Parramatta Islamic Cultural Association.
‘‘It gathers people together, to have iftar together. We talk to each other and get closer to God.’’
Mr El-Kadomi invited anyone interested in learning about Ramadan to visit Parramatta Mosque. In particular, he invited international students without family in Australia to to break their fast in Parramatta.
‘‘Come and have dinner at the mosque. We have around 120 people who come each day,’’ he said.
In 2001, there were a greater number of practising Muslims in Sydney than in Australia as a whole, with 3.4 per cent in Sydney and 1.5 per cent country-wide. Also in 2001, 1.5 per cent of Australia’s population were Muslim, up from 1.1 per cent in 1996.
As of the 2011 Census, the Parramatta local government area had a total 16,162 people who identified as Muslim.
2014 Ramadan and Eid festivities:
July 6: Ramadan Festival at Auburn Town Hall.
July 12: Ramadan Festival at Orion Function Centre, Campsie.
July 19: Ramadan Festival at Blacktown’s Bowman Hall.
July 22: Bilingual story and craft time for children up to five years old in English and Urdu to commemorate Ramadan, at Granville Library from 11am to 12pm.
July 27: Live entertainment and a variety of stalls to celebrate 16 years of the Chand Raat Eid Festival in Sydney. Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, 4pm to 12am.
July 29: The Eid Day Out Festival at Sydney Olympic Park from 10am to 8pm.