WINNIPEG — The holy month of fasting for Muslims brings with it a struggle in itself. For a Syrian refugee experiencing it alone for the first time in a new country, the struggle is a whole new one.
No food or water from sunrise to sunset, and no family for Musa Talluzi.
He moved to Winnipeg in August 2015 through a student refugee program. Born in Syria and fled to Lebanon, before making his way to Winnipeg, without his family.
Now, almost a year later and he’s spending his first holy month of Ramadan by himself.
“Back home we started one week before, all people decorated the streets with lights, lanterns, and [it was] all beautiful, playing music…Islamic songs all around the street,” said Talluzi.
He said it’s different experiencing Ramadan in Winnipeg, where you don’t hear the call to prayer throughout the day, or see your family at the end of the day to break fast together and celebrate.
Talluzi explained, “back home in Ramadan especially the first day the whole extended family meets together, breaks their fasts together, talks, and does activities and watches tv.”
But, while remembering the good times, Talluzi reflects on some of the struggle he’s had to endure during a Syrian Ramadan.
“30 minutes before we broke our fast, a bomb exploded in our street and my little brother and cousin were killed,” said Talluzi.
It’s a memory that stays with him, but one that reminds him how lucky he is to be living his life in Winnipeg, worrying only about what food he’ll choose to break his fast with, instead of wondering whether he will live to see the sunset.