Ramadan is an Islamic religious occasion that is practiced every year all over the world. It is considered the month of giving, and bonding with your family members, friends, and the poor who live in your community. Every year, Muslims from all over the world fast from sunrise until sunset as a way of practicing self-control over life essentials such as water, food, sexual interactions, and smoking, and to have a sense of understanding the struggles of the less fortunate, as well as encouraging charity.
Everyday at sunset, all family members gather to break their fast at the traditional Iftar meal at a table filled with all kinds of good food. Plates of food will go around the whole neighborhood from each household as a way of sharing.
This year due to the coronavirus crisis, when all those observing were unable to go home to be with their families, our small but diverse community on the Arava Institute campus decided to celebrate this holy month together – Muslims, Christians, and Jews. We began by organizing a “Ramadan information day” on campus the day before Ramadan. The day included six different stations; at each of them one or two Muslim students led an activity focusing on one aspect of Ramadan – traditions, tables, religious backgrounds, etc. – while the other students moved between the stations in small groups to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. The following day, many participants on campus joined the fast, and the last hours before Iftar were spent cooking, laughing, and setting tables together for previously assigned small groups. The atmosphere was very familial and cozy, and a lot of traditional Arabic dishes and desserts were cooked; smiles and laughs were shared everywhere. It was the most memorable Ramadan we had experienced so far. Ramadan Kareem to all humanity all over the world, may God bless us all in this holy month of love and forgiveness.
Submitted by Beesan Jamoos