Muslim miners in Bosnia break fast underground

Published May 3, 2021
ZENICA (Bosnia): Coal miners pray after breaking fast underground at a mine on Sunday.—AP
ZENICA (Bosnia): Coal miners pray after breaking fast underground at a mine on Sunday.—AP

ZENICA: Groups of men are preparing for long hours of hard labour deep underground in a trouble-plagued coal mine in Bosnia’s central city of Zenica.

During Ramazan, observant Muslims among them are easy to spot. Arriving for their shift and assembling for a roll call before riding an elevator into the mine tunnels, they carry with them transparent plastic bags containing simple meals brought from home with which they will break their daily fast 500 metres below the surface.

For the entire duration of the holy month, they go about their normal work routine, insisting they feel no exceptional hunger, thirst or exhaustion.

“For someone who does not want to observe the fast, it is always easy to find an excuse. We work hard, it is hot here, but we want to observe the fast and Allah gives us strength to endure, said Salih Doglod, a miner.

Inside mine shafts, one can’t see sunset, but miners consult their watches and smartphones for the right time to sit down, unwrap their food and break their daily fast together.

After a quick meal, one of the miners issues a call to prayer and the men break into groups of two or three before returning to their difficult and dangerous job.

Bosnia’s coal mines, including the one in Zenica, have been badly maintained, and have seen almost no investment and modernisation as the region was engulfed in an ethnic conflict in the 1990s.

In 2014, Fuad Hadzic survived a deadly collapse in the Zenica mine and insists it had only strengthened his faith. At the time, several mine tunnels collapsed leaving him and 33 other miners, including five killed by the rubble, trapped underground for hours.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021

Opinion

Israeli flashpoint
Updated 12 May 2021

Israeli flashpoint

There are persistent reports from the US suggesting that the mood over unquestioning backing for Israel is shifting.
Blaming envoys for the mess
Updated 12 May 2021

Blaming envoys for the mess

The prime minister appeared to be using his container approach in the realm of foreign policy.
No entry, no Eid
12 May 2021

No entry, no Eid

On this Eid, amid this mess, many chairs at muted celebratory meals will remain empty.
Election night confusion
Updated 11 May 2021

Election night confusion

Poll manipulation in Pakistan occurs in the run-up to elections and on election day itself.

Editorial

PM’s Saudi visit
Updated 12 May 2021

PM’s Saudi visit

It is very important that Pakistan take no step, or agree to any demand, that can have an adverse effect on national sovereignty.
12 May 2021

A new intifada?

THE situation in the occupied territories over the past few days has been incendiary, with tensions boiling over as...
Updated 12 May 2021

SOP violations

ON Monday, Sindh Police officials were given a well-deserved slap on the wrist by a judicial magistrate in Karachi...
11 May 2021

Kabul massacre

AFGHANISTAN is a land that has seen plenty of massacres during decades of unrest. However, despite this almost...
Divisive move
Updated 11 May 2021

Divisive move

The whole point of these reforms is to ensure that all major political stakeholders are on board, and that there is a consensus.
11 May 2021

Bank loan concerns

THE combined gross non-performing loan portfolio of the country’s banks and DFIs increased marginally by 2.6pc or...