Students learn about Ramadan
“This month is test of character. People show their true selves when hungry. Ramadan is a spiritual month that teaches us gratitude and sacrifice. It’s a time of self-reflection, away from materialism and bad energy,” Tahani Zughayer, international admissions/office coordinator, said.
A discussion was held about Ramadan on April 28th, with speakers Tahani Zughayer and Lujain Abufarha. Held in the A-building, this discussion was held to educate JJC students about the Islamic holy month, and create an understanding for people who fast during the month. This event was part of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) month for May.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, it’s when Muslims worldwide fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset. Fasting means no consumption of food or water during the day for Muslims who are healthy, abled bodied and not pregnant nor elderly. Other activities that are prohibited during Ramadan include smoking, swearing, sex, gossiping and other sinful behaviors.
Before fasting at dawn, Muslims have a meal called suhoor. They then have the first prayer of the day. When the sun goes down, Muslims come together to break fast with a feast called iftar. Donating to charity and studying the Quran is also important to do during Ramadan.
Departments like Center of Multicultural Access and Office of Diversity, Equity came together to sponsor events such as Ramadan 101. They reached out to faculty with knowledge of Ramadan like Zughayer to help lead the discussion.
Zughayer is a Office Coordinator and works in International Admissions since November 2021. Zughayer identifies as Palestinian-American whose faith is important to her and wants to raise awareness for Muslim Americans.
She spoke at the event as an advocate for the Muslim community at JJC. Zughayer wants everyone to know that Muslim students and staff may feel weak and at a disadvantage when fasting during Ramadan. She hopes everyone can sympathize more with people of different faiths.
Muslim and Middle eastern Americans are often left out of conversations about Asian American.
“Asia is an enormous landmass with extreme cultural diversity. West Asia is very different from East Asia. And Islam is very spread out all over the continent” says Zughayer.
Ramadan is important to Muslims because it’s one of their five pillars of Islam. The month changes each year because the Islamic calendar is also lunar. At the end of the month is two-day celebration called Eid. Millions of Muslims around the world celebrate differently with their own cultural food.
“My favorite Eid food is falafel with hummus that my mom makes,” says Zughayer.
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