Religious observances for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan are under way in several Middle Eastern nations.
The month of spiritual reflection began on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and a number of other nations. Oman and Iran are to begin observances Wednesday.
In a statement, the White House expressed warm Ramadan greetings to Muslims in the United States and around the world. It said the United States has been blessed by contributions from people of many faiths, including Muslims.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sexual relations from sunrise to sundown. The fast is broken at sundown each day with a feast called "iftar."
Ramadan marks the time 14-hundred years ago when, Muslims believe, the words of their holy book the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.