RELIGION

Ramadan Photos Of Refugees Show Celebrations In Exile With UNHCR's '30 Days of Faith' Project

08/04/2013 11:08 am ET | Updated Aug 05, 2013
UNHCR / Saima Sambutuan

The pain of being a refugee is keenly felt during Ramadan, a time when families come together to celebrate the Muslim holy month of fasting. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has captured their struggles and successes in a moving photo project. They are posting a photo a day during Ramadan with quotes from interviews "to show how individual refugees and displaced experience the month of fasting in exile."

UNHCR elaborated in an email to The Huffington Post:

From a suburban apartment complex outside of Dallas, Texas, to a prison cell in Bangkok, Thailand, to a children’s art class in Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan, to the streets of Bamako, Mali, where election ballots have just been cast - those who have lost everything, fleeing war and persecution, give thanks and reflect on their struggles during this holy month. We asked photographers in different parts of the world to capture people’s memories, struggles and dreams. Come on this annual journey.

The faith personified by these people who are often living in conditions of extreme hardship is humbling, as they give thanks for their blessings even as they grieve for the homes and lives they once had.

Though most have lost almost everything, many of the people interviewed still placed an emphasis on giving thanks and helping those less fortunate than themselves, like 85-year-old Afghani refugee Lalako, who tells his 37 grandchildren, "I tell my grandchildren to be kind to people who can’t help themselves and to help the poor. And if you don’t have money to help, then a simple smile to a fellow human being will be counted as a good deed. You are rewarded for every good thing you do."

See all of the photos and stories here:

UNCHR Ramadan Photos
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