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An Emirati astronaut has sent an end-of-Ramadan greeting from space. Sultan al-Neyadi, 41, sent an Eid al-Fitr message to the world from the International Space Station. Eid al-Fitr is a short holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and service to community. Mr al-Neyadi is on a six-month mission in space. He will be the first Arab to complete a spacewalk when he undertakes a six-hour task of maintaining and upgrading equipment on the orbiting space station. In his Eid message, al-Neyadi said: "May this special occasion bring peace, happiness, and prosperity to the whole world."

Mr al-Neyadi has shared a lot of footage of Earth while on his mission. In particular, he has transfixed millions of Muslims with images of the holy site of Mecca glowing in the dark of night. His achievements have ignited an interest in technology among his compatriots in the UAE. He has received many questions about fasting in space. Most adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk as one of the five Pillars of Islam. Al-Neyadi explained that fasting was different in space. This is because he has to avoid activities "that could jeopardize the mission or put crew members at risk." He said he needed sufficient food "to prevent any escalation of a lack of nutrition or hydration".



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