As the Illawarra Islamic community begins Ramadan celebrations, UOW student Fahad Yousaf has never felt further from home during the holy month.
Having most recently spent Ramadan with family in Oman, the Masters student said this year it would be quite different but he is hopeful he can find other people to fast and pray with.
"I'm new in Wollongong and I've only been here a month, I don't know a lot of people," Mr Yousaf said.
"I live opposite Omar Mosque and I think at the mosque there will be lots of students coming during the month and it will give me a chance to meet other people."
The international student said Ramadan holds a special place for him with it being the month of forgiveness, charity and worship.
"I think it's the month where we can ask people for forgiveness and bring everyone in the community on the same table and spread happiness," he said.
Omar Mosque chairman Dr Munir Hussain said the Mosque community was like a second family to the students living away from home.
"The mosque doesn't just have one function, it has many functions, to unite people, to care for people and its a social gathering place too," he said.
"Anyone can come in, we will take care of everyone who walks in."
Imam Sheikh Abdul Rahman said there will be special arrangements for iftar (breaking the fast) and extra prayers throughout the month.
"We will have iftar here every night and we also have extra prayers which is called Taraweeh," he said.
Imam Rahman urged the Muslim community to help out the poor and needy during the holy month.
Muslim Association at University of Wollongong (MAWU) member Saleh Altuwayrib has been celebrating Ramadan in Wollongong since 2016 and believes it has given him the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
"Last year I had Bangladeshi cuisine, Pakistani cuisine, Indian cuisine, Middle-Eastern cuisine. I saw all the different types of food on one table and that's Ramadan in Wollongong."
MAWU will also be hosting iftar for students and other members of the community during Ramadan.
"Ramadan is always supposed to be done with other people, it's hard fasting alone."
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