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Iranians gather at Palestine Square to break fast, support Palestinians

April 11, 2023 at 8:36 pm

An Iranian family break their fast by eating the Iftar during an Arabian Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan in downtown Tehran, April 6, 2023 [Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images]

People making queues for iftar in front of makeshift stalls, young children singing hymns on a small podium, a lady working on an unfinished portrait and some others holding banners in the middle of the roundabout, Anadolu Agency reports.

Palestine Square, or Maidan Felesteen, a busy roundabout in central Tehran, is bustling with activity this Ramadan as hundreds of people gather here every evening to break their fast.

Named after Palestine, it is a popular venue in the Iranian capital for Palestine-related events, a few blocks away from the city centre and the Palestinian Embassy in Iran.

These days, in the wake of recent Israeli military raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Occupied East Jerusalem and arbitrary arrests of hundreds of worshipers, Iranians have decked up the square to extend their support to the Palestinian people.

A freshly painted graffiti on a building overlooking the square, which shows people of different nationalities breaking their fast at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, has become a new cynosure of eyes.

Four big makeshift stalls have been put up in the square serving iftar to fasting people — lamb stew, fried rice, tea and sweetened drinks. The cardboard cut-out images of the Al-Aqsa Mosque greet the people.

A small stage has also been erected in one corner of the roundabout where prominent figures are invited to speak on the recent developments in Palestine, and choirs of children perform songs on the theme of Palestinian resistance and Al-Aqsa.

On Monday evening, the guest speaker was a Hamas representative in Tehran, Khaled Al-Qaddoumi, who delivered a short but passionate speech about Israeli “atrocities” against Palestinians, especially children.

Anadolu spoke to many young people who have been regularly visiting the venue, this Ramadan, to break their fast and to express support for the Palestinians.

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“We couldn’t be there, so we came here,” said Hossein Shahabi, a student activist. “This place gives a surreal feel of Al-Aqsa and the Occupied East Jerusalem these days, and we are here to rally behind our Palestinian brothers and sisters.”

The Ramadan program at Palestine Square is part of the worldwide campaign “We shall break our fast in Al-Aqsa.”

The campaign started in southern Lebanon in early Ramadan after graffiti was spotted on a wall built by Israel, which soon became viral among Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Occupied West Bank.

In recent days, images of Palestinians breaking their fast in the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque have been widely circulated on social media, especially after Gaza-based, Hamas group, called for wide participation in Ramadan ceremonies at the holy site.

“We shall surely break our fast in Al-Aqsa someday, when the Occupier leaves and the occupied takes charge of what belongs to them, including the holy mosque,” Ebrahim Rasouli, one of the volunteers, told Anadolu.