Support Our Future Leaders

The Media Line is known for producing truthful, unbiased journalism and we are teaching future journalists to do the same. Through our signature Press and Policy Student Program, The Media Line provides an innovative opportunity for students to globalize their educational experience by connecting to an active news bureau in the Middle East, studying journalism and public policy under the mentorship of veteran journalists while earning academic credit.

These students will reshape how the world sees and understands the Middle East and, in turn, how the Middle East impacts our world. Your contribution will provide the next generation with the skills they need to uphold the highest standards of journalism and, in turn, educate our global society with integrity and respect.

Thank you!

“The Press and Policy Student Program has elevated my global awareness, supported my journalistic efforts, and propelled me on the path of future success within the news industry.”
Press and Policy Student Program Participant
Carla Warren, University of Houston
Thank you and best wishes.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
MENA Region Governments, Clerics Declare COVID-19 Vaccinations ‘Kosher’ for Ramadan

MENA Region Governments, Clerics Declare COVID-19 Vaccinations ‘Kosher’ for Ramadan

Leaders say inoculations will not break fast

Religious leaders and health officials around the Middle East and North Africa have declared that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine anytime during Ramadan, when it is customary for Muslim adults to fast from dawn to dusk, will not violate the religious obligation.

In Bahrain, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the leadership of Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa ruled earlier this week that the inoculation presents no problem during the monthlong holiday, set to begin on the evening of April 13, as it entails no dietary intake.

In Jordan, where the virus is particularly widespread, Roya News reported that the General Iftaa Department for the Hashemite Kingdom, which rules on Islamic matters, verified on Wednesday that the vaccination is acceptable during Ramadan because it is administered through the recipient’s muscle.

Othman Battikh, the grand mufti of Tunisia, approved vaccines during Ramadan for the same reasons as in Jordan and Bahrain, the ANSA Italian news agency reported. Tunisia, coincidentally, was the sole country in the MENA region of the 23 nations that announced on Tuesday support for a global treaty that would facilitate better international cooperation during health emergencies post-COVID.

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh earlier in March also OK’d inoculations during Ramadan. The country is preparing for the holy month by banning buffets during hours when the fast in not in effect in cities such as Mecca and Riyadh, to try to reduce the number of new infections, with the possibility of extending the ban countrywide. The Grand Mosque of Mecca will be cleaned up to 10 times daily during Ramadan, officials announced on Sunday.

In other vaccine news, the United Arab Emirates has become the first country in the Middle East to begin the process of manufacturing a coronavirus vaccine, called Hayat-Vax. Actual production is expected to begin later in 2021 with the ability to produce 200 million doses per year. The UAE’s inoculation uses the same formula as China’s Sinopharm.

Speaking of which, Beijing gave 100,000 doses of its own vaccine to the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday. That more than doubles the 60,000 doses of other coronavirus vaccines the PA had previously received.

Over in Lebanon, teachers became eligible to receive coronavirus vaccinations, also on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the region, other countries are also making plans to prevent the spread of the virus during Ramadan.

In Turkey, which hit a 2021 record for new COVID cases on Tuesday with 32,404 infections in one day, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said a full lockdown would be in place on the weekends throughout the holy month.

Cairo will continue its prohibition during Ramadan of large religious gatherings, as well as of open feasts, a holiday custom where the rich donate food and charity to the less well off.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 9:30 am Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0) on Thursday.

CountryConfirmed CasesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Palestinian Territories242,3532,627215,42924,297
Saudi Arabia390,0076,669378,0835,255
United Arab Emirates461,4441,497445,35514,592


Steven Ganot contributed to this report.


Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.