Smoky flavours: Abdul Kadar’s camel burger store in Lakemba. Photo: Getty Images/Michele Mossop Hot item: Emad Salah cooks up a serving of camel burgers. Photo: Getty Images/Michele Mossop
Tani Nowshin sells homemade Bangladeshi snacks. Photo: Michele Mossop
Outside the Al Sultan Butchery in Lakemba. Photo: Michele Mossop
It is one of the holiest times of the year for Muslims around the world, and for some it is also one of the busiest. In between the feasting and fasting, there is a great deal of buying, selling and, importantly, giving occuring around Australia during the month of Ramadan. Sales of halal meat skyrockets, while restaurants offer special set Ramadan menus. Even travel agencies are busy, offering package tours of a pilgrimage to Mecca. Tarik Houchar, who runs the Muslim women’s online fashion store Hijab House in Parramatta in Sydney, said his profit surges fourfold during the period. Sales are fuelled by a tradition that at the end of Ramadan, when Eid al-Fitr is celebrated over three days, Muslims wear new clothes. “It’s obviously the best time of the year for our sales,” Mr Houchar said. “There’s a lot of buying going on. We’re receiving hundreds of orders a day from all over the country.” The consumption of certain foods, including halal meat and dates – which are eaten to break the fast – also jumps. During Ramadan, Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. But this means huge communal feasts are held before fasting starts for the day at dawn and when it ends at dusk. Abdul Kadar, who manages a food stall on the main street of Lakemba during Ramadan, sells about 650 camel burgers every night. He said people queue up for a taste from 6.30pm to 5.30am and he expects to have made it through more than 2000 kilograms of camel meat by the end of the religious festival. “We’re open the whole night,” Mr Kadar said. “After people break their fast they usually go to prayers and then they will come back out again to the stalls to get something to eat.” Among all the consumption, the charity Islamic Relief Australia receives at least triple the amount of donations during Ramadan. The organisation holds a special campaign to provide impoverished families around the world with Ramadan food packs. “It’s a time Muslims generally are more generous and look forward to spending more on charity,” spokesman Mohammad Kandil said. “We take advantage of that time to highlight the kinds of projects they would be interested in supporting.” While some businesses do struggle during Ramadan, Charles Sturt University’s Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation director, Mehmet Ozalp, said an increasing number, including major grocery stores and clothing chains, were adapting and creating special campaigns for the month. “I think now more and more businesses are picking up on this and putting sales and specials around that time to encourage people to buy, particularly in suburbs where there are relatively more Muslims,” Associate Professor Ozalp said. “It’s a bit like Christmas time, the shops have a lot of sales.” In the majority of Muslim countries, work hours are reduced for the month and offices are shut down during prayer times in some sectors. There is also often a flurry of business activity before Ramadan starts, as Muslims rush to finalise deals before fasting begins. Australia-Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry board director Fiona Hill said Australian Muslims do not usually take time off work during Ramadan but most take leave to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Many Muslims spend the first day of Eid eating and praying in the morning and then visiting family and friends during the day. Eid starts on different dates around the world, depending on sightings of the new moon, but celebrations are expected to kick off in Australia on July 27. “Fasting in Ramadan is an act of worship,” Dr Hill said. “It’s a time of celebration. So both the start and the finish of Ramadan are ideal times to congratulate Muslim counterparts with a phone call or a ‘season’s greetings’ card.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.