Ramadan begins this weekend for more than one billion Muslims around the world.
The holiest month of the Islamic calendar sees Muslims unite in a period spiritual reflection and fasting from dawn till dusk. But in Pakistan this year the country’s inflation crisis has led to a sharp rise in food prices, with the poor the worse affected. Housewife, Fatima Bai: “The month of Ramadan in here, and of course we have to fast, but what are we to eat? Perhaps we should be content if we can afford to buy anything to eat, but so far I have bought nothing. Everything seems to be too expensive.” In Iraq, security remains the biggest concern. Rising violence has reduced shoppers across Baghdad but some insists on going about their business as usual. “Demands on foodstuff was good, but there aren’t so many people today because of the bombings which took place yesterday,” according to shop owner, Haider Ali. There are altogether different concerns in France, home five million Muslims, Europe’s largest Islamic population. Ramadan here is an opportunity to attract old and new customers with foodstuffs they might not otherwise try.