Safe Celebration of the Ramadan Feast During COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us at Eldorado Gold are demonstrating agility as we adapt to the necessary changes to keep everyone safe and protected from the virus.

Employees observing physical distance at Ramadan Feast celebrations.
Employees observing physical distance guidelines at the Ramadan Feast celebrations

One example of our agile working was in preparation of the Ramadan Feast celebrations, which took place on May 23 and 24.  The Ramadan Feast is an official holiday that continues for 3 days and is an important event in the religious calendar in Turkey and for many of our employees at our Efemçukuru and Kışladağ mines.

Traditionally, people rise early on the first day of the Ramadan Feast and enjoy a large breakfast to symbolize the end of the fasting period, which many Muslims observe during the preceding month of Ramadan.

Onur Demir, Public Relations and Government Relations Manager at our Efemcukuru mine, explains that the Ramadan Feast is also known as the Sugar Feast in Turkey, as people treat their guests to sweets and desserts during the festival.  “Following breakfast, it is then customary to visit relatives, especially older ones, and kiss their hand as a sign of respect. There are generally plentiful handshakes and hugs and then the exchange of candied gifts as family bonds are strengthened” he says.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols, the Ramadan Feast celebrations were recognized differently this year. A curfew was imposed by the government during the holiday, and the physical distancing required to prevent the spread of COVID-19 meant that many time-honoured customs could not be celebrated in the usual way.

Employee receiving baklava gift at Ramadan Feast celebration in Turkey.
Employees receiving a traditional gift of baklava

“With some creative planning, we held a celebration of the Ramadan Feast for our people at our Efemçukuru mine, with employees ensuring their physical distance by standing in designated painted areas in the mine site car park and wearing protective masks,” explains Onur.

General Manager Yaşar Dağlıoğlu shared a Ramadan Feast celebration message, thanking everyone for their collaboration and unity during the COVID-19 epidemic and wishing them a healthy, happy and safe time with their families. Off-site department managers and superintendents attended the celebrations through video conferencing.

“At the close of the ceremony, we offered everyone baklava, which is the festive ritual confectionery,” explains Onur.

“We were proud to be able to celebrate this important event while continuing to keep ourselves, our colleagues and our families safe and protected from COVID-19.”

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