I was blessed enough to experience the magical community spirit of The Ramadan Tent last year.
1 year on, the ethos of The Ramaden Tent Project, founded by Omar Salha, a SOAS alumnus, remains the same; to spread the message about the true spirit of Ramadan, to challenge Islamic misconceptions and to teach non-muslims about the core values of Islam.
New Venue, Same Sense of Community
I have now been twice this year already; the first time I attended, iftar was held inside due to poor weather conditions inside the SOAS campus building.
However, in dryer conditions, The Ramaden Tent Project can now be found at Malet Street Gardens, a short walk from SOAS.
Usually a private garden, during iftar, this place buzzes with the same, if not more community spirit that I was privileged enough to experience last year.
All Are Made To Feel Welcome
I’ll admit, Initially I had been feeling a little apprehensive and visiting by myself; although I knew my friend would be there, she was volunteering and acting as tent manager that day so I knew I would be alone for the best part of the evening.
However, friendly faces in the form of smiling volunteers quickly diminished any hesitance I had.
Whilst some engaged with guests by asking them what their #RamadanResolution was:
others worked hard to prepare food
and places to sit.
The True Spirit of Ramadan
The Ramadan Tent Project has expanded, yet the organisation and arrangements made by Omar and his team of dedicated volunteers, remain flawless. Last year, I was amazed at how the event, sustained by charitable donations had the ability to provide so much food for so many & the same rings true this year.
What I have Learnt From The Ramadan Tent
Each time I have visited The Ramadan Tent, I have come away learning something new.
Though I’ve known about Ramadan since my school years, it was only until last year, through The Ramadan Tent,that I realized that the beginning of iftar, breaking fast, was symbolized by passing around dates to eat.
I only truly appreciated the sense of generosity, sharing and community spirit that occurs through experiencing it first hand, thanks to The Ramadan Tent.
London is a multi-cultural city, which tries hard to celebrate diverse cultures, religions and traditions.
The Ramadan Tent manages to encompass this effortlessly; it welcomes people from all walks of life to share in the true spirit of Ramadan each evening. Though I had never met these people before, The Ramadan Tent was able to connect us, with a special bond.
“It is only when one is tested, one realises one’s our true potential.”
Each visit to The Ramadan Tent, has increased my admiration and respect for those fasting during Ramadan. Fasting requires such determination and perseverance and for many of us, during such challenging times, we become ‘single focused’.
Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself?
Whether it’s trying to focus on a big project, a big family event or to follow an exercise routine but we let these become excuses for why we fall short in other areas of our lives; it’s easy to blame being tired or hungry for a reason to have less patience or feel less charitable.
Yet, what is truly inspiring is the selflessness of The Ramadan Tent volunteers. These volunteers are fasting themselves, yet are still so focused and enthusiastic about their charitable duties. I remember last year:
My friend told me how, on one occasion, due to the increased popularity and interest in The Ramadan Tent, there had not been enough food to accommodate all guests as well as committee volunteers. In this instance, volunteers refrained from eating to ensure every single other participant had food in front of them. Bearing in mind, the majority of these volunteers had been fasting themselves, it was moving to hear the extent of their charitable duties.
If you are in the London area, I would highly recommend going along. Whether you are Muslim, wanting to break fast with others, or a non-muslim simply curious, hand on heart, I guarantee you will not regret visiting.
If you’re worried about attending on your own, do not think twice; you will be welcomed with open arms into The Ramadan Tent family, regardless of your religious, socio-economic or political background.
Leave any reservations you have at the gate & just enjoy the true spirit of Ramadan.
For more details check out The Ramadan Tent Project on
or their website: http://www.ramadantentproject.com
Ramadan Mubarak to everyone celebrating!
Love & Blessings,
Ana | The Asian Destination xo
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