Islamic Society of Bay Ridge holds in-person Ramadan celebrations for first time since pandemic

Brooklyn residents were able to celebrate the first week of Ramadan in person after having to stay isolated last year due to the pandemic.
Residents came out to the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge on Friday for a congregational prayer to observe the holy month of Ramadan.
"Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam, it is a moment where you reflect. You don't eat from sunrise to sundown. After that there's a congregational prayer," says Bibi Esahack, of the Bay Ridge Community Development Center.
This is the first year that decorative lights were put on display throughout Bay Ridge's Fifth Avenue in honor of the holiday.
Essa Masoud, vice president of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, says he wanted to have the lights put up after being inspired by Christmas holiday lights.
"To show that the example of the growing Muslim community within Bay Ridge and the greater New York is decorating for the Ramadan season," Masoud says. "There's other seasons we can decorate for and other cultures. We felt that the Ramadan lighting is due course."
Congregants passed out hot meals to the community on Friday, an effort they say started at the beginning of the pandemic to help neighbors in need. It's especially important for those celebrating Ramadan and in need of meals once they break their fast.