Government will distribute one million bags known as the “Ramadan package” to poor families for free – file photo
CAIRO – 23 April 2018: “The month of charity” is the name Muslims around the world give to the holy fasting month of Ramadan. The Egyptian government has decided to celebrate Ramadan this year by granting poor families one million bags packed with food items.
Free Ramadan packages
The ministries of endowments and religious affairs, petroleum and tourism will provide poor families with one million “Ramadan packages” for free, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi said in a press conference in April.
The decision comes as part of the state’s annual effort to supply citizens with essential needs. The Ramadan package always contains food, including rice, sugar, macaroni, tea and dried dates.
Committees from the ministries of endowments, supply and social solidarity will deliver the Ramadan packages to families throughout the governorates, Moselhi added.
The ministries of endowments and social solidarity said they would cooperate to accurately target the neediest families.
The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade would provide 2,000 tons of sugar, rice and macaroni to be included in the Ramadan packages, according to a protocol signed between it and the Ministry of Endowments.
Sheikh Bakr Abdel Hadi, deputy minister of endowments in Gharbia governorate, said that 14,000 Ramadan packages have already been prepared to be delivered to poor people in the governorate.
FILE – Ramadan Packages
Ramadan packages for reasonable prices
Moreover, Moselhi said that 450,000 Ramadan packages would be available in food commodity outlets nationwide.
In a press conference in April, Moselhi said that the price of packages will range from LE 80-110 ($4.50-$6.20) in the “Super Market Ahlan Ramadan” fair that will open May 10-13.
Despite price hikes, the price of the Ramadan package this year may be cheaper than that of 2017, when packages reportedly exceeded LE 120.
More than 200 companies specialized in food products will participate in the fair, said Ashraf el-Gazayerli, chairman of the Chamber of Food Industries (CFI).
Many people buy the bags before Ramadan in order to deliver them to poor people they know. Fathi Al-Sawi, a resident of the Ramsis disctrict, told Al-Ahram that he has booked Ramadan packages this year to provide poor people with basic food supplies, but that he used to hold Mawaed Al-Rahman (Tables of the Merciful) before the price hike.
FILE – Maedat Al-Rahman (charity iftar)
Mawaed Al-Rahman are held to offer poor people free iftar (the meal Muslims eat to break their fast). Some people provide the poor with Ramadan packages as a form of paying “zakat” – a certain percentage of a Muslim’s money paid to the poor that is obligatory for all wealthy Muslims.
However, Egypt’s Dar Al-Iftaa, which issues fatwas (Islamic edicts), revealed that zakat has conditions that typical Ramadan packages may not meet.
The needy people receiving zakat should take it in the form of money or food that they really need, Dar Al-Iftaa added.
FILE – MP John Talaat
Last year, Christian parliamentarian John Talaat, who represents the Shubra and Rawd al-Farag districts, told Egypt Today that he had paid for 700 Ramadan packages to be delivered to poor people in the two districts.
Moreover, a church choir released a song called “Ramadan is Yours and Ours”, aiming to foster peace and brotherhood between Egypt’s Christians and Muslims.
The song’s lyrics highlight the spirituality, joy and forgiveness that the holy month of Ramadan spreads among the community, bringing different factions of society together. Created by choir member Malak Refaat, it first aired on DMC channel on Saturday.