A YOUTH centre run by a church in Tower Hamlets has been opening until the early hours of the morning to cater for Muslim teenagers during Ramadan.
Up to 40 teenage boys each night have been visiting the Arbour Youth Centre, in St Dunstan’s, Stepney, for the past month, while their parents are at the mosque after breaking their daily fast. The centre has been opening up from 10.30 p.m. to 1 a.m. to give the boys something to do.
The project manager at the youth club, Zakaria Hussain, said: "During the holy month of Ramadan, there can be a spike in anti-social behaviour. Teenagers have been fasting all day, and they break their fast around 9.15, and their parents go to the mosque and they go out, looking for something to do, but nothing is open, and they are bored.
"We have a good relationship with the schools around here. . . We offer them a productive time, and try and get them into positive things."
He said that there had been violence between young people on the other side of Stepney in the past month, but not in the streets around the youth centre.
The Arbour this week also held a community meal, where Christians and others also fasted all day, before eating with Muslim friends and neighbours.
Support in Palestine During Ramadan, staff from the Palestinian Bible Society and members of churches in their region have been distributing water and dates to those unable to get home in time to break their fast. The Society also held a special "breaking fast" Ramadan dinner in Jenin Province.
"Our Bible Society values the friendship that has existed between the Christian and Muslim communities for many years," the Society’s executive secretary, Nashat Filmon, said.