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Iftar Costs a Minimum of 300,000 Syrian Pounds

The majority of Syrians are now unable to perform Ramadan rituals due to soaring prices, according to al-Watan.
Iftar Costs a Minimum of 300,000 Syrian Pounds

The current economic conditions and the significant rises in the prices of food commodities hinder Syrians from embracing the month of Ramadan with the same enthusiasm as in previous years. Will Ramadan prayers and alms persist as before, or is the Syrian contemplating only securing the costs of breaking the fast for family members?

Dr. Shafiq Arbash, a Professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Damascus, highlighted in a statement to Al-Watan that the majority of Syrians are now unable to perform these rituals due to soaring prices and the prevailing economic hardships. These traditions have gradually waned over the years, with few exceptions in rural areas. Today, the average housewife can no longer afford to prepare lavish meals to share with neighbours, as they used to. He added, “Syrians once eagerly anticipated Ramadan to observe these customs, but now it burdens a large percentage of them.”

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In a simple analysis conducted by Dr. Arbash, he revealed that a basic Iftar for a family of five could cost up to 300,000 Syrian pounds, totalling about nine million Syrian pounds per month. However, the average citizen cannot sustain such expenses daily. Even if a family opts for modest meals like beans or fattah for suhoor and labneh or cheese sandwiches, they would still require approximately 2.5 million Syrian pounds for the month of Ramadan. The prices of essentials such as labneh, cheese, beans, and chickpeas have skyrocketed, not to mention other necessities like oil.

Arbash noted that previously, neighbours would share their meals to promote food diversity on Ramadan tables within the same social class. Many Syrians would also extend help to the less fortunate, often sharing their leftovers with those in need shortly after breaking their fast. However, this practice has largely disappeared today, making it challenging to perform acts of charity during Ramadan, as it demands significant financial resources only available to a privileged few.

In a related vein, Arbash emphasized that many Syrians are compelled to sell their gold, if available, during Ramadan to meet the month’s requirements.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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