ANKARA - Forced away from their homes after two years of fighting in their homeland, Syrian refugees are praying to bring peace to their country during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"We pray for our country every day, Berdi Hasan, a Syrian refugee in Turkey, told World Bulletin.
Our biggest prayer is the ending of the war and the achievement of peace in Syria.
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Thousands of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes to avoid being killed over the ongoing fighting between President Bashar Al-Assad's forces and opposition fighters.
More than 100,000 Syrians have been killed and thousands injured in the fighting, which has forced more than one million Syrians to flee to neighboring countries.
More than two million Syrians have also been displaced inside Syria because of the fighting.
Many Syrian refugees have welcomed with heavy heart the advent of the fasting month of Ramadan, which starts Wednesday, July 10.
"We pray for the ending of pain and tears in the holy Ramadan month" said another Syrian refugee in Turkey.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur'an and good deeds.
In Ramadan, Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
The majority of Muslims prefer to pay Zakah for the poor and needy during the month.
Calls for a ceasefire in Syria during the holy fasting month of Ramadan have fallen on deaf ears, aggravating the Syrians' suffering.
I am calling for ... every person holding a gun, to stop fighting and offer this month of peace as a collective present to their people, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
The aggravating situation was evident in Aleppo, where civilians took to the streets to protest an opposition-imposed blockade preventing food and medicine reaching government-held areas of the northern city.
Opposition fighters have stopped supplies entering western parts of Aleppo for weeks.
The tactic is aimed at weakening the supply routes of Assad's forces but thousands of civilians are now going hungry, residents say.
Video footage posted on the Internet on Tuesday showed dozens of civilians in the opposition-held neighborhood of Bustan al-Qasr protesting at an opposition checkpoint which prevents supplies from entering the western section of the city, home to 2 million people and held by the army.
Humanitarian aid organizations say their shipments have been blocked by both the opposition and Assad's army in many parts of Syria.
"We are facing challenges delivering assistance throughout the country, especially in contested areas," Jane Howard, a United Nations World Food Programme spokeswoman, said.
Howard said that WFP has tried eight times since October 2012 to deliver aid to Moadamiyeh, a suburb of Damascus that has been pummeled by air strikes and artillery.
Although the area is only five km (3 miles) from the WFP warehouse, Howard says convoys were "either turned back, did not get approval or came under fire."
In Aleppo, the WFP has delivered rations to more than 250,000 people in the weeks leading up to Ramadan.
"We have our fingers crossed that if Aleppo goes through a particularly difficult period, we've managed to get enough food into the city to tide people over for the next month," she said.
Residents in western Aleppo say food prices have jumped to more than ten times their original level and basics such as bread and flour have become harder to find.Civilians say they are stockpiling food, such as bulgur wheat and rice, which are still available. They say some vegetables are still being sold in markets.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net