Afghans face Ramzan under shadow of Corona

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: They have survived four decades of war but war-weary Afghans say that they are going through a “never before seen” Ramadan — with limited resources and scaled-back activities due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

“It is a fasting month that has never been seen or experienced before in the history of Afghanistan and possibly in the history of Islam as a whole,” Rahim Shah, a 50-year-old car dealer, told Arab News.

He said that before the outbreak, there was “at least a sense of happiness that Ramadan would allow us to fast in a peaceful atmosphere,” mainly due to a reduction in violence by rival groups observing a cease-fire.

“Now, things look far gloomier than they did in the past. People can no longer work for a livelihood as they are expected to ensure strict quarantine measures,” he said, joining several Afghans who say the outbreak has eclipsed the joy of the holy month.

“During the civil war and before that, in all other situations of war, mosques would be open all the time, and people went for individual and congregational prayers day and night. But this Ramadan is an exceptionally different one because of the coronavirus,” said Rahmatullah, a 55-year-old grocer.


With major cities under weeks of lockdown, the outbreak has deprived daily wage workers of making a living, in addition to creating a scarcity of medicines triggered by a ban on international flights — resulting in a spike in drug prices and essential services. (Arab News)