The world's 750-million Moslems on the 13th of July began the holy month of Ramadan during which they are bound by faith to abstain from food, drink an ex from dawn to dusk.
GV Dome of Al Aqsa Mosque, jerusalem PULL BACK TO GV city
GV Women and men pray outside mosque in courtyard (2 shots)
GV People passing through streets of old Jerusalem on way to mosque (2 shots)
GV People buying groceries for after-fast meal
GV People moving through streets
GV People washing hands and feet in preparation for prayers at Al Husseini Grand mosque in Amman, Jordan (2 shots)
SV Men praying inside mosque (2 shots)
GV Men praying outside mosque
GV Beirut street festooned with decorations for Ramadan
CU Minaret PULL BACK TO GV New mosque
GV PAN INTERIOR Men listening to religious leader inside mosque
SV PAN Men praying
GV EXTERIOR Beirut street
CU Kallag, special sweet for Ramadan, being cock PULL BACK TO cooks serving kellags
GV INTERIOR Family eating while listening to call to prayer on radio (2 shots)
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Background: The world's 750-million Moslems on the 13th of July began the holy month of Ramadan during which they are bound by faith to abstain from food, drink an ex from dawn to dusk. Last Friday (18 July) was the first holy day of the holy month.
SYNOPSIS: The Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem is one of Islam's holiest shrines and thousands of people turned out to offer prayers. This year is the first Ramadan in the 15th islamic century. According to Islamic belief, in the ninth month of the Moslem lunar calendar, the Angel Gabriel imparted to the Prophet Mohammed the wisdom of the Koran in a cave near Mecca 14 centuries ago.
Believers fast during daylight hours, but are able to eat and drink after sunset.
In Jordan, the focal point of the Ramadan prayers was the Al Husseini mosque in Amman. Thousands of people gathered at the mosque for noon prayers. The reason for fasting during the month of Ramadan, like Christian lent, is to develop spirituality and stress the supremacy of soul over body.
The extent of the fast varies from nation to nation. Some governments, such as Egypt's shorten office hours for fasting workers. Saudi Arabia punishes violators.
In Lebanon, a mixed Moslem-Christian society, the decision to fast is left to the individual. But the streets of the capital Beirut and its many mosques are decorated for the holy month.
Some Moslems have been criticised for turning Ramadan into a month of night-time feasting to make up for their all-day lasting. But the predictions are that a rekindling of Islamic virtues, in addition to the Iranian revolution, will make this year's Ramadan one of more reserve.
In areas such as Beirut where people of different faiths live closely alongside one another, some Christians subject themselves to abstinence when their moslem neighbours are observing Ramadan.
When the sun sets one of the favourite foods of Moslems in lebanon is kallag, a sweet made specially for the month of Ramadan. The fasting month ends with the festival of Id el-Fitr celebrated during the first three days of the following month.