Home Muslim culture Ramadan bazaar offers authentic Muslim products for the holy month

Ramadan bazaar offers authentic Muslim products for the holy month

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A strip of White Oaks Shopping Center in London, Ontario. has been converted into a Ramadan bazaar, reminiscent of Muslim markets in Africa or the Middle East, offering authentic cultural products for the holy month.

The Ramadan market, which begins at the mall’s southern entrance, has around 25 vendors set up shop through Sunday.

“Before Ramadan, we are holding the Ramadan Market at White Oaks Mall to prepare everyone for Ramadan,” said Khanssa El-Sayegh of Events Co., the group that organizes the bazaar.

“People can come and shop for Eid gifts or they can shop for Ramadan itself, from dates to sweets and other things: clothes, decoration, you know, items that we don’t not usually found in ordinary stores.”

Khanssa El-Sayegh is with Events Co., which is the company that organizes the bazaar. (James Chaarani/CBC)

There are around 33,000 to 35,000 Muslims living in London, many of whom will observe Ramadan. It is an Islamic holy month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for about 30 days, and this year it starts at the beginning of April.

“At the same time, we want to provide a space for kids to see themselves and connect with Canadian society, and feel excited about their vacation,” El-Sayegh added. “And that’s really why we’re doing this.”

“Help us welcome Ramadan”

Sahar Zimmo (left) is co-owner of House a Hijabs, which sells a variety of colorful hijabs and qurans. (James Chaarani/CBC)

Sahar Zimmo is co-owner of House of Hijabs and another bazaar vendor. Her company sells colorful qurans and hijabs in a variety of colors, materials and textures.

“We are very blessed, lucky and honored to be part of the Ramadan market here at White Oak Mall, as it helps us with our Muslim identity and helps us welcome Ramadan,” Zimmo said.

House of Hijabs is a relatively new company, launched a year ago.

“We started it during COVID, like a lot of people starting their first Instagram or online business,” she said. “And we started it because we felt there was a need for accessible, beautiful and pretty hijabs, accessories, qurans and accessories,” she said.

“We wanted to bring this to London and make it fun for girls and women to wear the hijab as well as connect with our holy book, the Quran.”

Mervat Latif sells authentic Egyptian products. (James Chaarani/CBC)

Mervat Latif is another vendor in the market, selling everything from Egyptian decor and art to glassware.

“It’s like visiting Egypt during Ramadan,” she said of her stand. “And that’s a vibe that I have in my store. Like, bringing it back here for people. If you don’t have to travel to Egypt, you can come to my store. You feel the vibe. You feel the vibe. ‘old traditional trick.’

Ramadan begins in Canada on the evening of April 1.