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News | Aug. 9, 2012

Leatherneck leaders celebrate Ramadan with Muslim brothers in arms

By Sgt. James Mercure , Regional Command Southwest

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (August 9, 2012) — Coalition leaders, provincial governors and Afghan elders met aboard Camp Leatherneck to share in the celebration of Ramadan at the Afghan Cultural Center, Aug. 7.

During the monthlong celebration, Muslims around the world fast during the daylight hours and eat only after the sun sets.

The meal breaking the fast is known as iftar and can be shared with others as a form of charity, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. 

“This dinner shows the unity of all the forces here tonight,” said Abdul Karim Barahawi, Nimroz provincial governor. 

Helmand Provincial Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal also joined in the meal.

During the evening, those attending prayed, ate Afghan cuisine, shared stories and talked of the future of Afghanistan and the bonds made while serving together in an effort to bring stability to the country. 

“On behalf of all the coalition forces, we want to wish you a peaceful Ramazan, and we hope your brothers find peace as well,” said Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus, the Regional Command Southwest commanding general.

Joining in celebrations and observing local customs helps bring the Marines and other coalition forces closer together and builds trust and understanding between different cultures.
Ramadan officially concludes after approximately 30 days and is not only a celebration, but also emphasizes self-control and discipline throughout the month.