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Egyptians celebrate Ramadan with the longest free Iftar table

Muslims gather along a street-long table for break their Ramadan fast together in a mass "iftar" meal on the 15th day of the Muslim holy month   -  
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Muslims gathered along a street-long table to break their Ramadan fast together in a mass "Iftar" meal on the 15th day of the Muslim holy month, in the Matariya suburb in the northeast of Egypt's capital Cairo.

The wonderful scene brought together thousands of Muslims and Christians as the event is held in the middle of the Ramadan fasting period.

The organizers believe the event is meant to bring unity among people from different backgrounds ranging from nationalities and religions.

"The idea of the (Iftar) table isn't only to eat and drink, the idea is 3,000 people are sharing the same table with the same religion and nationality and are eating together at the same time," said  Ihab El-Shah- at, an event organizer.

Around 6,000 people within the neighborhood participate in this colorful event full of decorations. Neighboring communities also do attend to enjoy the food and the atmosphere.

"The table isn't specified for specific people, it is for everyone, all the neighbors and their children are participating, anyone passing the street can join the table," said a resident.

Health authorities had initially directed the governors to apply the precautionary and preventive measures for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to preserve the safety and health of citizens during the holy month of Ramadan. 

After a two-Ramadan hiatus due to Covid-19, Cairo began receiving requests of holding Mawaid el-Rahman, or charity iftars, this Ramadan. -

"The Coronavirus has stopped us from attending (Iftar table) every year, many people used to come here from different areas to break the fast, not only this (Iftar) table but also to any other (Iftar) table," a resident said.

Big tables that have different types of foods are offered for free for anyone to join at the call of Maghrib prayer, announcing the time for Muslims to break their fasting. The guests are usually the poor or people who did not go home in time.