x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Foundation plans to send dates abroad for Ramadan

The UAE plans to ship 123 tonnes of dates to Egypt, Germany, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan ahead of Ramadan, to provide for needy Muslim families.

The UAE plans to ship 123 tonnes of dates to Egypt, Germany, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan ahead of Ramadan, to provide for needy Muslim families. Mohammed Hajji al Khoori, executive director of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation, said the organisation was keen to ship the fruit before Ramadan began and was working closely with the relevant embassies in the UAE.

Ramadan is expected to start on August 21. Dates, which have a high natural sugar content, are eaten before the fast begins, just before sunrise, and once the fast ends at sunset just before the early evening prayer, maghrib. Within the Emirates, more than 15,000 tonnes of food will be distributed to 45,000 needy families before Ramadan in a joint venture between the Khalifa Foundation and the Ministry of Social Justice.

Organisers expect the local project to reach more than 300,000 people, including 44,000 families. The food will be available at 26 centres across the country and some will be delivered to homes free. Last year, the foundation handed out more than 1.2 million meals within the UAE and more than 80 tents were set up across the country to provide iftar meals, primarily for labourers. asafdar@thenational.ae