For Muslims around the world, another Ramadan is upon them, bringing the absence of life’s daily comforts but also opportunity for charitable participation.
For its 5th straight year, Casablanca’s Binaction is providing breakfast for more than 300 disadvantaged people in the city everyday, under the program name “Ma’idat Arrahman,” or Table of the Merciful. The meals are hosted at the Hay Hassani Youth Centre where groups of enthusiastic young volunteers gather each day to prepare and distribute the food. This year, in collaboration with fellow charitable organization, Lueur d’Espoir Casablanca, there are two Ramadan programs running concurrently, under the leadership of Ayman Lamkhidda and Sabrine Zahroubane. In addition to Ma’idat Arrahman, approximately 400 homeless people are also fed by a team of volunteers hand-delivering meals to the street each week.
The activity begins about three hours before the dusk prayer, after which Muslims are free to break their day’s fast. Overseen by a team of coordinators, the volunteer army is divided into groups whose tasks range from placing and setting 20 tables and accompanying chairs, loading food in an adjoining room, preparing soup and filling dishes.
When the dusk prayer is approximately 15 minutes away, the chairs are filled with grateful men, women and children. Glancing around at the guests present one can’t help but smile at Moroccan, Sub-Saharan and Syrian faces smiling back. Far from being a serious occasion, the atmosphere is festive and friendly, with everyone wishing one another a happy Ramadan and volunteers rushing to and fro. Each person attending the breakfast is presented with a food tray containing the following: dates, candy, bread, a bridge roll, eggs, cheese, soup, milk, tea, juice and water.
At the same time the Hay Hasssani youth Center’s dining room is filled with hungry Ramadan guests, groups of volunteers load boxed meals into a fleet of vehicles and head out into the night, looking for anyone who might be in need of a full breakfast. The meals are delivered with little fanfare, a great deal of dignity and are always received gratefully.
Of important note, while the Ramadan guests are enjoying their feasts the volunteers are putting off their own F’Tour, happily catering to the needs of their visitors while ensuring that all the food is distributed and eaten by the Adhan (call to prayer). Even after the last guests have departed, the volunteers keep working, cleaning and tidying the hall so it is in readiness for the next day. Only then do they allow themselves to sit and break their fast.
As with all charitable organizations, Binaction relies primarily on volunteers and contributions. If you would like to help or want more information, feel free to visit their Facebook page.