NEWARK, NJ — In Islam, Ramadan is a month of celebration, gathering, hospitality, family and friends breaking fast over bountiful meals, often at Mosque with the entire community.
Given the global pandemic, the collective aspects of Ramadan have been canceled this year. Though iftar may be a little lonelier under quarantine, Muslims in Newark are making the best of a difficult situation by serving their community however they can this Ramadan.
Omar Bareentto, secretary of the Islamic Society of Essex County in the Central Ward, is a transplant from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who normally relies on his masjid, family and friends to break fast. In a COVID-19-shuttered Newark, all he has is a roommate who doesn’t observe the holiday, so iftar hasn’t been much of an event.