Corona outbreak or not, Jerusalem is in the midst of one of the hottest events on its calendar: the celebration of the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Celebrated this year between April 23 and May 23, Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and marks the revelation of the Quran.

Muslims all around the world observe it with fasts, prayers, family visits and lots and lots of food. Jerusalem is no different.

If you’d like to catch a glimpse of the Ramadan experience in the holy city, check out an initiative called “Ramadan Nights from Jerusalem.”

A collaborative effort of leading cultural institutions, religious bodies and community organizations, it aims to expand awareness of both Muslim culture and of Ramadan in a completely digital manner. The virtual platform provides people now unable to participate in large-scale events such as prayers and public gatherings with meaningful, diverse content.

Muhammad al-Busayri’s ‘The Poem of the Mantle.’ Photo courtesy of the National Library of Israel
Muhammad al-Busayri’s ‘The Poem of the Mantle.’ Photo courtesy of the National Library of Israel

Lectures, virtual tours, prayer recitations, musical performances, culinary workshops and children’s activities are all available either in livestream or on-demand on the initiative’s website. The platform is trilingual; events can be enjoyed in Arabic, Hebrew and English.

Each of the participating organizations is bringing forward its area of expertise to the initiative. The Tower of David Museum, for example, is offering a Holy City virtual tour,  as well as one focusing on the roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the city.

An ancient Iranian Quran. Photo courtesy of the National Library of Israel
An ancient Iranian Quran. Photo courtesy of the National Library of Israel

The National Library of Israel is hosting a series of virtual lectures on Islamic laws and customs. The Museum of Islamic Art is presenting talks on Islamic art and music. Virtual get-togethers are also taking place, for example in homes where the hosts explain the different traditions of Ramadan in Jerusalem.

Ramadan Kareem!