US President Barack Obama marked Ramadan with a statement early on Thursday, the first day of fasting. In the statement, the president said that Ramadan is a month of thankfulness.
Obama said that "Ramadan is a time in which families and communities come together for iftars and prayers in festive gatherings that demonstrate the rich and diverse traditions of Muslim societies and cultures," and further added "It is also a deeply spiritual time of reflection and renewal meant to increase thankfulness and consciousness of God's mercy. Muslims honor each day of Ramadan as a day of patient endurance through fasting, and each night as a night of gratitude through prayers. It is a time to reinforce faith, compassion and forgiveness, and perseverance through adversity. In this month of giving, Muslims around the globe reach out to assist those afflicted by conflict, hunger, poverty and disease."
Obama said in the statement that he is looking forward to keep the tradition of welcoming American Muslims to the White House for the annual White House iftar dinner.
The president also issued Ramadan messages in the recent years and like the previous ones, he finished this year's message with "Ramadan Kareem" which means "Ramadan is Generous".