Area Muslims Prepare for Ramadan

The month-long observance of Ramadan begins this week - with some Muslims starting their fast Tuesday and others waiting until Wednesday.

Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar , so some New York area Muslims held off beginning their fast because they did not see the moon Monday night. Others used astronomical calculations and a sighting of the moon in California. They say they’re beginning their fasts today.

Mamadou Ly, a taxi driver who lives in New Jersey, said he’ll begin his fast Wednesday. But while the fast is a key part of Ramadan, he said it’s not the only part. “Most important is to remind you of your faith, how you live with your neighbors, the Muslim community and everybody else,” he said.

Ever since he was a child, Ly said he has looked forward to Ramadan as a chance to spend time with his family and community. Now a father with children of his own, he said he looks forward to it even more.

However, Hircham Sarhaoui, below, who operates a Halal food truck, said business always goes down during Ramadan. Since he fasts, it can be hard to be surrounded by food all day. So he works a shorter shift.