Ramadan Unites Faiths in Jordan

September 14, 2008

Author: Suha Philip Ma’ayeh

Source: The National


Haneen Bisharat, 18, is looking forward to experienc[ing] what it feels like to fast during Ramadan in solidarity with her Muslim university friends.

“I want to fast for an entire day and see how my friends can stay without food and water until the evening,” said Ms Bisharat, who is a Christian.

Christians, who compose about four per cent of Jordan’s 5.8 million population, live in harmony, for the most part, with Muslims in a country that prides itself on its religious tolerance.

As a minority in a Muslim country, most Christians do not seem to find it difficult to respect the ban on eating and drinking in public during the daylight hours.

“Temperatures are very high, and when we want to drink, we look for a vacant lecture hall. We don’t want anyone to see us, we respect other people’s feelings,” Ms Bisharat said.

Father Nabeel Haddad, executive director of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Centre, said Christians and Muslims had long been able to coexist peacefully in Jordan.