These Refugee Stories Remind Us Of The Realities Of Ramadan Around The World

These Refugee Stories Remind Us Of The Realities Of Ramadan Around The World


Shasha Dania •  Mar 22, 2024

Ramadan is the holy month for Muslims around the world.

During this month, we undertake a month of fasting to remember our commitment to Allah, show gratitude for our blessings, and aim for spiritual and inner healing.

At the same time, we also remember Muslims around the world who do not have the privilege of fasting in a comfortable and reliable environment as we do.

For refugees and displaced families who are observing the holy month faced with poverty or fleeing from war and instability, Ramadan is bittersweet.

Here are some stories from Muslims around the world - keep reading to find out how you can help UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, ease their burdens this Ramadan.

Click here to donate from Singapore, and here to donate from Indonesia. Your donation can be the difference between a hungry child and a table full of food at iftar, helping them seek new hope as they rebuild their lives. 

Fatima’s Story

Fatima’s family are internally displaced Yemeni Muslims who had to flee their home due to airstrikes. Fatima was injured in an explosion before fleeing but sacrificed surgeries to help her heal in order to care for her kids first. Their family is one of many supported by UNHCR, which provides essential shelter, protection, food, and water to many vulnerable families out there.

Credit: UNHCR To her, Ramadan is a month of cleanliness, purity, prayer, and worship. While they don’t have stable living conditions or a comfortable place to rest after fasting, they are okay with a simple life and refuse to beg for more. Despite the terrible conditions they face, their thankfulness to and trust in Allah remains steadfast. Your donation to UNHCR helps them support Fatima, her family, and many more in having clean water, sufficient food to break their fast, and safe shelter to rest. Click here to donate from Singapore, and here to donate from Indonesia.

Hala’s Story

Syrian refugees Hala and her brother Moussa have been living with their grandmother in Jordan after they were orphaned and lost their grandfather. Their grandmother has raised them since they were young, and they rely on cash support from UNHCR to make ends meet. Cash assistance from UNHCR makes displaced families such as theirs less likely to resort to desperate means such as child labour, family separation, or forced marriage to earn an income. The vital support from UNHCR enables these families to participate in local economies, building stepping stones to peaceful coexistence with their host communities.

Credit: UNHCR During Ramadan, Hala’s grandmother prays to Allah for His protection and blessing over the children. Hala loves Ramadan as she can fast during the holy month. This year, she hopes that Eid can be as beautiful as it always is, and she and her brother can continue to play and celebrate Eid. By donating to UNHCR, your help enables Hala and Moussa’s grandmother to keep a warm shelter over their heads, so that the family can continue to stay together even when they’ve lost everything. Your donation can mean the difference between a family being out in the streets, and having a shelter to return too. Click here to donate from Singapore, and here to donate from Indonesia.

Mohamad’s Story

73-year-old Syrian refugee Mohamad still does his best to provide for his wife, even though they’ve been internally displaced in Syria and now live far away from what was once home. Despite this, their faith remains strong - they start each day with prayers, even before they eat breakfast.

Credit: UNHCR During Ramadan, they have to cut down on food so that they can afford electricity and water. Like many other displaced and vulnerable people, they miss their home - including their daughter they had to leave behind when they fled. One day they hope that they can spend Ramadan with their children and family again. By donating to UNHCR, you’re helping to support them in one of the toughest periods of their lives, and to make a difference between hope and despair for so many other families in need. Click here to donate from Singapore, and here to donate from Indonesia. Hearing their stories feels bittersweet. Though their steadfast belief in Islam and trust in Allah may shine through, we cannot imagine their unbearable conditions of their daily lives. Yet imagine if our compassion could be transformed into action that will help improve their lives. This Ramadan, you can help provide vital aid to refugees such as Fatima, Hala, and Mohamad by supporting the essential work done by UNHCR. From Syria to Iraq, Yemen to the Rohingya, your support allows UNHCR to reach out and help those who have nowhere else to turn to. Show your support by donating from Singapore, and donating from Indonesia. Through donating to UNHCR’s Ramadan appeal, your money goes directly to providing refugee and displaced families with their essential and basic needs that will help them see a new day. In remembering the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us this Ramadan, may we also build our own compassion and fulfill our duties to Allah by helping others through our actions. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who have lost everything. This article is written in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.