- Title: Jerusalemite Sufi band celebrates festive Ramadan nights online
- Date: 12th May 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IMAM AND HEAD OF SUFI BAND, FIRAS AZAZ, SAYING: "At the same time in previous years, we used to have these nights among the people where many worshippers and residents of the old city (of Jerusalem) gather. We used to make the (old city's) streets alive with songs praising Prophet (Muhammad) but due to this situation we couldn't. So we ask from God that this pandemic will disappear and lift it from us, Muslims, and the entire world."
- Embargoed: 26th May 2020 10:52
- Keywords: COVID-19 Coronavirus Jerusalem Palestinians Ramadan Sufi music Sufism
- Location: JERUSALEM
- City: JERUSALEM
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA003CDMLS9H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
Ramadan this year is unlike previous ones where the Sufi band of Palestinian musician Firas Azaz used to regale its audience with vibrant hymns.
This year, his performance in the old city of Jerusalem has been limited to a livestreamed concert, due to coronavirus lockdown.
The performance was held in the Old City's Muslim Quarter inside Al-Saraya centre for community services that was once full of audiences enjoying Sufi rhythms.
During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observant Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, and often feast in the evenings on traditional dishes.
Residents in Jerusalem also flock to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the city for their night prayers, which has been closed since the outbreak.
But part of celebrating the holy month also involves cultural events, like these, in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is home to several Sufi shrines or zawya, including the Indian zawya, the Qyrami zawya, and the Afghani zawya, many of which are located inside the walls of the Old City.
Sufism, or Tasawwaf, as it is called in Arabic, is generally understood to be the inner and mystical dimension of Islam. It is usually steeped in folklore, poetry, music and spiritualism.
Two people have died after contracting the novel coronavirus in the Palestinian territories, including Gaza and the West Bank. Nearly 547 cases have been reported.
Also, two deaths and 172 cases were reported in East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.
(Production: Roleen Tafakji, Sinan Abu Meyzar)
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