Imam Hassan Ahmed Migane, and other prominent Djiboutian Muslim leaders, led a Muslim Maghrib sunset prayer for Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) service members to close out the day’s Ramadan fast at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 28, 2021.
The group then shared an Iftar meal, the traditional feast held each evening during the holy month.
“Prayer is something we can all do regardless of where the person is from and regardless of where we have met them,” said Sheik Okieh kawrah Fatah, the executive secretary of the Djibouti Ministry of Islamic and Cultural Affairs’ High Islamic Council. “The United States has a lot of people from different religions, but it is great that we are able to come together here and pray.”
“Ramadan is a month of being thankful,” said Migane. “It’s for forgiveness, and is a way for people to come together and pray,” the Masjid Gachamaleh - Ar Rahma mosque leader added.
The event was held to promote unity among the local Djiboutian community and American military members. It also provided an opportunity to build on existing relationships, and reaffirm the importance of cross-cultural understanding.
“Djiboutians and Americans have a great relationship here,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Mouhamadou Baro, a CJTF-HOA military finance clerk and Muslim service member currently deployed to Camp Lemonnier. “It’s a way for Djiboutians to see firsthand that we are in this thing together.
“Sharing can only solidify relationships,” Baro added. “The fact we were able to invite them here and have a meal together is a very important thing.”
Although COVID-19 has changed a lot about the way Muslims are able to socialize in larger groups, the importance of harmony hasn’t been lost.
“This gathering shows our unity here in Djibouti,” U.S. Army Maj. Leroy Lockwood, the CJTF-HOA chaplain said. “Our message to all Djiboutians is we’re here to support the local community and strengthen our partnerships.”