The Dawod family's Eid al-Fitr feast isn't as bountiful as in years past due to the violence in Gaza, Haya Dawod said.

Gaza violence casts a pall on Eid celebrations

JERUSALEM (RNS) This year, instead of sweets, people are drinking black coffee without sugar, a sign of mourning in Palestinian culture. Instead of new clothes, people are sending their alms to Gaza. Instead of going on vacation, people stay home, glued to the TV set.

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FEATURED VIDEO: Ramadan brings together young, old

Muslims across the country and the world began fasting for Ramadan this past weekend. Ramadan is a month-long Muslim holiday; this year it falls between June 28 to July 28, but the dates change every year because Islam follows the lunar calendar. During the month-long ritual, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. After sunset, families gather to eat and read from the Quran. Fasting at Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, though children, the elderly and the sick are excused from participation in fasting for the sake of their health. This video, a short film produced by Pepsi last year to celebrate the month in Egypt, depicts the family values of Ramadan and incorporates nostalgic Egyptian television characters.

Pope Francis waves from the pope-mobile during his inauguration Mass at St. Peter's Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. World leaders flew in for Pope Francis' inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday where Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power.  RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

Pope pens personal message to Muslims at Ramadan’s end

(RNS) While it is a long-established Vatican practice to send messages to the world’s religious leaders on their major holy days, those greetings are usually signed by the Vatican’s department for interfaith dialogue. This time, Pope Francis personally extended his greetings ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of Ramadan.

President Obama hosting Ramadan iftar

Beyond #WhiteHouseIftar: 6 points towards a principled action of solidarity

Here are six concrete points and strategies to help us continue a principled and constructive conversation about #whitehouseiftars. In the last thirty years, we as Muslims have had intense conversations about our multiple and overlapping identities as Americans and as Muslims. What kind of America we want to belong to? An America that is an Empire, or a land of liberty and rights? If it is the latter, words will not suffice. We need to be participants in making that a reality.