Sunday, May 19, 2024

Holy Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, comes once a year, with its promise of blessings, peace, and abundance. As Muslims, during Ramadan we have opportunities to enrich ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and reaffirm our bonds with one another. This is a season of prayer, fasting, charity, and self-reflection for Muslims in Canada and around the world.
Muslim communities are richly diverse in the Waterloo Region. Some community members have newly arrived as refugees while others are second- and third-generation Canadians. Some struggle on social assistance in subsidized housing, while others have six-figure incomes and live in desirable neighbourhoods. Some identify strongly with Islam as a way of life, and others are still working out their relationship with Islam.
Ramadan gathers Muslims, and those attracted to Islam, in mosques, community centres, and houses, around the Iftar tables and on prayer lines, shoulder to shoulder. Together, we express our solidarity by sharing food and other intense expressions of spirituality, including our renewed ties to Allah.
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This Ramadan, we are especially excited to introduce a new newspaper: The Circle.
As the first English-language newspaper in the Waterloo Region directed primarily at local Muslims, The Circle aims to be this region’s premier source of what is happening in the Muslim communities. Our inclusive, intercultural, and interfaith approach is intended to engage all Muslims and non-Muslims in the region to inform, connect, inspire and celebrate local Muslim experiences, and build a broader community through storytelling.
This newspaper will be mainly in English, with some Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu writing when appropriate. In our coming issues and on our website we will regularly update our list of events, to spread the word about upcoming local events.
The Circle is an independent publication, unaffiliated with any Muslim organization in Canada or abroad. We believe that this independence allows us to explore the rich diversity in the Waterloo Region’s Muslim communities.
The Circle also strives to bridge Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike. By profiling the lives and experiences of non-Muslim citizens, we will allow our Muslim readers to gain a better understanding of their non-Muslim friends and neighbours. The Circle strives to avoid favouring one organization or group over another.
We welcome your suggestions, and your contributions. Please write to us. Together, let’s create a conversation and become the best version of ourselves as Canadian Muslims in this beautiful and welcoming region.