05:13 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Muslim Summer Camp Opens Doors for Boys From All Over Russia

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    An annual Muslim summer camp for boys has opened in Saratov region near the Volga; a camp for girls will be organized next month.

    The religious and recreational camp for Russian Muslim children from across the country is taking place for the fourth time, and will gather some 150 boys between 9 and 13 years of age. Kids are arriving from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya, the Sverdlovsk and Ryazan regions and Saratov's surrounding Povolzye regions, a message on the regional Muslim community website Dumso.ru reads.

    Tutors and leaders from the local Saratov city madrasa Sheikh Said teach children from different nationalities, mostly through conversation. They inform the kids on the basics of Islam, including its history, moral principles and ritual practices. The campers wear religious garments and eat halal food. A specially designed textbook is also used at the lessons. In addition to their studies, the students engage in sport activities, hiking trips and various cultural events. The camp's facilities are surrounded by a forest.

    "Besides promoting a healthy lifestyle, the patriotic nurturing of children and teenagers is being conducted in the camp with the aim of developing their civic awareness and giving them a proactive approach to life," a paragraph in the camp's newspaper reads.

    The morning workout in the Muslim camp is accompanied by the reading of Surah Al-Mulk, the 67th chapter of the Quran, by renowned local Quran reader Mishari Rashid. Following the 21-day camp a Quran-reading competition will be held among the students.

    "The Quran reading group is held in the morning and evening; some 30 kids are attending alongside the leaders," said Imam Abdulkhakim-hazrat Yafarov, who teaches the children about the Quran.

    Besides the Quranic group, which gathers in the shade of a tent, the students are able to practice calligraphy, fine arts and national dances among other activities.

    A local evening news program, MuslimTV, broadcasts daily. The camp publishes its own newspaper.

    The regular price of the camp is 18,000 rubles ($300), however, almost two thirds of the Muslim camp vouchers were paid for and provided by the local social services and the Russian Council of Muftis.

    An identical annual Muslim camp for girls is due to be held in the same place in August.

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    Tags:
    camp, youth, Muslims, Russian Council of Muftis, Volga federal district, Saratov region
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