Holy month expected to begin Wednesday

Washington, D.C., August 10, 2010 – As millions of Muslims await the start of the holy month of Ramadan, VOA’s Hausa Service will be among the first in Nigeria to broadcast the official announcement of the start of the annual fasting and prayer season.

The holy month of Ramadan begins in Nigeria when the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, who leads the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, confirms reports that the new crescent moon has been sighted, an event expected Wednesday but perhaps as late as Thursday.

Muslims from around the country have been urged to call the palace when they see the new moon.  A committee of experts will evaluate the reports.

A Hausa Service reporter will be in the Sultan’s palace for the announcement, and is expected to speak with a member of the Moon Sighting Committee, as well as get reaction from people gathered at the palace for the event.

VOA’s Hausa Service has four daily broadcasts and a weekly audience estimated at approximately 21 million listeners in the region on shortwave and AM with a website that features live and on-demand audio broadcasts.  The Hausa program line-up includes integrated newscasts, discussion shows, diverse stringer reports, interviews, feature programs, and special reports covering a wide variety of issues.

Visit the Hausa Service website, http://www1.voanews.com/hausa/news/, for a Ramadan timetable that will include the timing of breakfast and when Muslims are expected to cease eating, drinking and sex.

In addition, the Service will be running a series of special programs all month, including a call-in show that will allow listeners share their Ramadan preparations.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to a estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail mailto:askvoa@voanews.com.

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Credit: This article originally appeared on the Voice of America web site at http://voanews.com, where more in-depth audio versions of articles can often be found.

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