In Photos: Matariya communal street Iftar table on a roll this Ramadan

Walaa Gebba, Saturday 8 Apr 2023

Residents of Matariya, a suburb in the northeast of Cairo, came together on Thursday, to organise the traditional annual mass street iftar table, described as the longest in the country.

Egyptian Muslims gather in streets lined with long tables to break their Ramadan fast together in a mass iftar meal in Ezbet Hamada in Cairo s Matariya suburb in the northeast of Egypt s capital Cairo on April 6, 2023 on the 15th day of the Muslim holy month. AFP


This year's iftar was attended by around 3,000 individuals, including residents of the neighborhood, public figures and the South Korean ambassador to Egypt.

Ambassador Hong Jin-Wook expressed his delight at participating in the iftar, calling it "truly unique and lovely."

Ibrahim Bahzad, a popular Emirati blogger, also attended the event and shared several photos and videos on his Instagram account.

The event, which has become a popular Egyptian Ramadan tradition and is held regularly on the 15th of Ramadan, went viral on social media platforms, with many people expressing interest in the photos and videos of the event.

Egyptian actor Amir Karara took to Instagram to share photos from the iftar and expressed his desire to participate again, stating "Ramadan there is truly unique."

Similarly, the Egyptian singer Ramy Gamal promised to release a song depicting the beauty of Matariya and expressed his desire to join the iftar next year.

Algerian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi praised the event on her Twitter account, stating "the greatest mass iftar table for the residents of Matariya in Egypt fills its streets with joy."

The annual celebration, which started seven years ago and was halted for two years during the COVID pandemic, is arranged by the neighborhood's residents who spend hours preparing the dishes.

Despite rising prices due to Egypt's annual core inflation rate, which recorded 40.3 percent in February, compared to 31.2 percent in January 2023, as reported by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in early March, this year's celebration still took place.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is known for other traditions. Muslims around the world usually hold public banquets known as Mawaed El-Rahman (“Tables of [Allah] the Merciful) in streets or near mosques to offer free fast-breaking meals for the needy and passers-by.

This tradition originated in Egypt around 11 centuries ago and is currently observed widely by charitable organisations, civil society groups, and Zakat (almsgiving) committees at mosques across the nation, motivating observant Muslims to fast.

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