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Dedicated delegates fast through Unite conference

A STRONG coffee is the vice of choice for trade union activists trying to perk themselves up for another long day of policy debate.

But dedicated Muslim delegates were foregoing a caffeine fix yesterday as they got stuck into the first day of a Unite conference with a difference. 

Executive member Ansaar Khaliq is among those who started fasting as the sun rose on Sunday. 

He said it was the first time that Ramadan — which moves back by 10 days every year — has fallen during a union event. 

“It’s the hardest because, from sun up to sun down, these are the longest days,” he told the Star. 

“You have to watch out for your stamina.”

Mr Khaliq suggested that was the reason why he’s joined by only “a handful” of Muslim delegates for prayers in the conference faith centre.

“I’ve heard stories that there are a lot of people who have dropped out because of fasting,” he said. 

But he added that the union had been “very supportive” by making sure hotels are providing room service during the night.

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