from Tales from the Trail:

Obama hosts Iftar dinner marking Ramadan

August 11, 2011

Three dozen foreign diplomats,  two Muslim American members of Congress  and some 9/11 families were among the guests invited to join President Barack Obama for what has become a White House tradition -- an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan.

Mecca hopes to revive pilgrim tourism during haj

November 3, 2010

mecca (Photo: Muslims shop outside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, September 15, 2009/Fahad Shadeed)

Rashed Abdullah displays Oriental perfumes on a glass table to late-night shoppers in his small shop in Mecca ready for what he hopes will be a sales bonanza during this month’s haj pilgrimage. He is confident of attracting customers after fears of a swine flu outbreak kept many away last year.

Algerian court clears Christians of charge of flouting Ramadan by eating during day

October 5, 2010

ramadan 1Two Christian men on trial in Algeria for eating during daylight in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan were acquitted on Tuesday, a verdict their supporters said was a triumph for religious freedom.

Malaysia TV station axes Muslim ad because of Christmas overtones

By Reuters Staff
September 6, 2010

malaysianTV

(Photo: Screengrab from TV3 commercial on YouTube)

A Malaysian television station has axed a commercial for an important Muslim holiday after viewers complained that it looked more like a promotion for Christmas. State-linked TV3 aired the commercial earlier this month to wish the country’s dominant ethnic Malay-Muslims a joyous Eid al-Fitr, which is likely to fall on Friday and marks the end of a month-long Ramadan fast.

Christian-themed TV shows spark complaints in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon

By Reuters Staff
August 15, 2010

saudi tv 1Television shows with Christian themes have sparked complaints in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon in recent days, but from different groups and for different reasons.

VIDEO: Roundup of Ramadan starting in Turkey, Asia, Afghanistan

By Reuters Staff
August 13, 2010

Below is a Reuters video roundup of the start of Ramadan in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Afghanistan:

Pakistanis start Ramadan fasting month amid flood misery

By Reuters Staff
August 13, 2010

pakistan flood 1 (Photo: Evacuees from a flooded village dodge an army truck carrying relief supplies in Pakistan’s Punjab province on August 11, 2010/Adrees Latif)

They’ve been left homeless and hungry by the worst flooding in decades, but for many Pakistanis, their suffering is no reason to ignore Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month that began in their country on Thursday.

Mecca Mean Time? World’s biggest clock ticks in Islam’s holiest city

August 12, 2010

clock saudi 1

A giant clock on a skyscraper in Islam’s holiest city Mecca began ticking on Wednesday at the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, amid hopes by Saudi Arabia that it will become the Muslim world’s official timekeeper.

Stock markets in Muslim countries usually rally during Ramadan-study

By Reuters Staff
August 9, 2010

datesRamadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar marked with fasting and prayer, is also an uplifting time for stock markets in predominantly Muslim countries, according to a study by the University of New Hampshire.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

In Pakistan, not over the moon

By Reuters Staff
September 25, 2009

By Zeeshan Haider

Pakistan is battling Taliban militants, trying to patch up relations with old rival India and struggling to revive a limping economy but another issue has preoccupied the country over recent days: the sighting of the moon that markes the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.