Text & Photo: Stefano Romano
“Like every year, double date with the prayer of Idul Fitri 1436 H, for the end of Ramadan, celebrated on July 17 with the Indonesian community at the Embassy in Rome and with the Bangladeshi community in Piazza Vittorio. An intimate journey and face to face with the small Indonesian community, with the white’s dominant colors of mukena and those colorful and funny of little girls.
This year an Indonesian Ustadz who studies at the University of Al-Azhar in Egypt, Akhmad Ikhwani Syamsudin, has reached Rome to attend the prayer and give a speech. At the end, as a habit of Indonesian culture, there was the long line of thanks, of hands touched and hugs through tears, repeating the phrase “Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin” as the culmination of the whole Ramadan, remembering their faraway land and family, or often, parents are gone.
At the same time the big Bangladeshi community is meet in Piazza Vittorio, in the street under a burning sun, for many rounds of prayer throughout the morning, usually between the amazement of people going on the buses and trams next to the faithful. With the large group of men in front and women to pray inside a protective curtain (which is one of many semantic meanings of the word hijab – veil) on the sidelines behind. Among the curiosities of this year, the first time a young boy from Bangladesh still a minor who officiated a prayer as Imam also taking the khutbah in Arabic.
Two different ways of living the same time, in the sign of the differences between peoples and cultures but united by the same faith that makes all Muslims in the world brothers and sisters.
“Wa alqoitu ‘alaikum mahabbatn minnii”
(Aku jatuhkan Kepadamu semua kecintaan Kepadaku)