Addis Ababa City administration said the Great Street Iftar event concluded peacefully without any security incident
A day before Eid al-fitr holiday, Ethiopian Muslims carried out a massive ‘Great Street Iftar’ ceremony in the capital Addis Ababa.
The street from Mexico square to Bambis, crossing the Meskel Square, was packed with faithfuls of the Muslim faith breaking day long fasting. It was organized with the motto “Great Street Iftar in Ethiopia.”
According to Ethiopian News Agency, the event was organized by Halal promotion and Nejashi charitable organizations.
It was intended to achieve three objectives, as reported by ENA. To demonstrate that the Holy month of Ramadan is a time of compassion, sharing and supporting one another – which is in line with Islamic teachings. The Elderly and the needy were part of the Iftar, the “Great Road Iftar in Ethiopia.”
The other objective, as indicated in the ENA report, is to break the African record of Iftar events – one that was registered in Egypt with 7,000 participants. The Great Street Iftar in Addis Ababa is believed to have attracted hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian Muslims. The aim behind that was, “to enhance Addis Ababa’s popularity in the world,” it was reported.
The third aim was to pray for the unity of Ethiopia.
Deputy mayor Jantirar Asfaw, government service providers’ coordinator in the city administration, attended the event. “All religious rituals are our assets,” he is cited as saying.
He expressed appreciation for all those who contributed to the success of the event.
No security incident was reported and the hours-long ceremony concluded peacefully. Addis Ababa police closed several streets and roads leading to where the Great Street Iftar took place as a security measure.
Addis Ababa City Administration initially did not allow the event to take place in Meskel Square saying that renovation project is not completed for the entire part of the place to be used.
Following a conversation with organizers and Muslim leaders, the city on Monday announced that it has allowed it to take place.
Ethiopian activists who are not even from the Islamic faith condemned the city administration over its decision not to allow the event.
Days before the Great Street Iftar in Addis Ababa, similar iftar projects were organized in several towns in the Amhara regions of Ethiopia.
No reports of street iftar in Oromia, Gambella, Somali and Benishangul Gumuz regions of Ethiopia, among others,
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