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“Now I realised the real greatness of community groups.”

Khalid, his wife and their four children settled in Cardiff in 2019. Before his first Ramadan in the UK, Khalid was worrying about what to expect. Here he explains how the experience was actually a breakthrough moment for him in feeling welcomed and supported. 

The holy month of Ramadan is the fasting month for all Muslims where Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. It is a month where there is an increase in spiritual worship, and is the holy month when the Quran was revealed. It is a month of charity and giving to the poor, since a reason of fasting is to feel what the poor feel due to their hunger. 

Ramadan is a little different here than back home due to the time changes but I am extremely lucky to be in Cardiff where there is a large Muslim community and an abundance of mosques - around fifteen. Of course, there is a difficulty being away from my mother and siblings during Ramadan, however we always thank God that we were able to make it here as some could not. 

"I was shocked when I realised the community had knowledge of Ramadan... this is really pleasing and comforting for refugees." 

When arriving I was worried about not having my family for Ramadan and about the availability of mosques and acceptance of my religion within the community. I was shocked when I realised the community had knowledge of Ramadan. My children’s teachers and my ESOL tutor all acknowledge Ramadan and Islam practise and my son is even allowed to do his prayers in school. This is really pleasing and comforting for refugees. 

Eid celebration here is different to back home but during Ramadan the community group provided support and after Ramadan the team leader Frank took us to Eid Prayer. Usually after prayer we visit family first however since we could not do that we met up with the community to celebrate. The team provided Eid blessings and presents and the most important point is that they took me from being alone and isolated to them being with me. Now I realised the real greatness of community groups.  

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