April 2nd marked the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, the holiday observed by Muslims all across the world. During this month, Muslims do many other things to build their relationship with God and strengthen their faith, including fasting from sunrise to sunset and making other sacrifices.
Because of the continuous growth of the religion in the United States, there are so many people that are observing Ramadan that have to navigate day to day life while doing things like fasting and praying. School can be one of the many environments an individual has to navigate and this can raise questions about what it means to be a Muslim student specifically in America.
At SLA, the accommodations for students observing Ramadan include making a space for Muslim students to pray the daily prayers.
So, how are SLA students handling this season while still being full time students?
“It definitely is harder than being at home”, Samira Ahmed a senior at SLA noted. “Sometimes it’s hard to explain these kinds of things to people”.
However, Ahmed also stated that educating other people helps them understand other religions and break through cultural barriers.
Muslims students can feel isolated at times especially because of the media bias surrounding Muslims, which encourages negative stereotyping. However, there are many efforts being made to help students feel welcomed in school and free to express their faith and beliefs.
“Yes, I think like they respect a lot of cultural differences and they make others feel more inclusive and share more about their religion. There are classes like world history that help students share more about that”, Tina Zou a sophomore at SLA expressed when asked to giver her opinion of SLA’s efforts to make an inclusive community from a non practicing Muslim perspective. Many students within the SLA community have had the impression that the community is inclusive towards the Muslim community.
Ramadan is recognized as a month of growth, humbleness and refresh for observing Muslims. However, as the month of April comes to a close and Eid is coming close. Lehmann says “Eid Mubarak to all who celebrate!”.