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Ramadan Begins In Some Parts Of World

Indonesian children and elder Muslim men prepare to sight the new moon from the rooftop of the Al-Hidayah Basmol Mosque in Jakarta on July 8.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins in some parts of the world on July 9, with Muslims in North and South America and western Africa starting the traditional month of daytime fasting.

Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon, which varies from country to country.

It begins in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, eastern Africa, and Oceania on July 10.

During Ramadan, Muslims are required to abstain from eating, drinking liquids, smoking, and having sex between dawn and dusk.

The period marks the month in which the Koran was revealed by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad and is meant to emphasize piety and charitable acts.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all sides in Syria's civil war to stop fighting during Ramadan "as a collective present to their people."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa