Australian drought: Muslims hold Eid event to pray for rain

Muslims pray in Sydney at the Lakemba mosque Image copyright Lebanese Muslim Association
Image caption Thousands showed up at the Eid event in western Sydney

About 30,000 Australian Muslims gathered in Sydney on Tuesday to pray for an end to what's been called the worst drought in living memory.

Worshippers from 16 mosques came together "in a show of solidarity and unity" with farmers and others affected by the drought.

The event took place to mark Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice.

A fundraising campaign is also being held for affected farmers.

The event was organised by the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) at the Lakemba Mosque in western Sydney.

"As one Australian family, we all need to do our part and stand in solidarity with those who are in need," said Samier Dandan, the president of the LMA.

"It is now our time to be united and extend our hands in friendship to those who are now suffering."

Image copyright LMA
Image caption The rain prayers were held at the Lakemba mosque in western Sydney

Ahmad Malas, director of the LMA, told the BBC that the atmosphere at the event was "very positive".

He said rain prayers are often said during times of drought.

Eid al-Adha runs from 21-25 August this year and remembers the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

Parts of Australia are struggling with extreme drought conditions, with all of New South Wales (NSW) - the most populous state - declared to be drought-affected.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Farmers in several states are finding it hard to keep their animals fed

More than half of neighbouring Queensland is also in drought while parts of Victoria and South Australia are also experiencing dry conditions.

Farmers have been especially badly hit by severe water shortages, leading to crops and them being unable to feed livestock.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned that the country has become a "land of drought".

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