We would like to learn more about the practice of Ramadan, and coming from young people from Palestine, Spain, and Morocco, they give us their point of view.
Here we leave you all with some of their testimonies. Among these, key words seem to be hope, empathy, family, introspection, purification, growth, and willpower.
Ramadan Mubarak to those who celebrate. And whether you celebrate it or not, we are organizing an Iftar* for the community on April 1st. Needless to say, you are invited! More information to come soon.
*Iftar: evening meal that breaks the fast during the month of Ramadan.
“The first thing that I think of is family. All gathered, celebrating one of the most important months of the Muslim calendar. I think of my siblings making arts and crafts to decorate the house and Iftar table; of my mother preparing the best recipes with love and emotion; of my father reciting the Quran and leading the Tarawih prayer; and of the video calls with my family members in Morocco to tell each other about our fast. For me, it is a wonderful month in which introspection prevails and you focus on religion to work on your strengths and weaknesses; it is a month of physical, emotional, and mental healing. Ramadan is not only a fast, but goes far beyond that.”
23 years old, Spanish with Moroccan origin
“For me, this will be my first Ramadan. It has become something special due to its symbolic weight since my conversion was in August 2022 in Egypt, becoming official in September of the same year here in Spain. I have to admit that I am very hopeful for this month. However, I also worry about how my body will respond to this “test” because, as I said before, this is my first time. My family is not only non-Muslim, they are not religious either, but I feel respected and with unconditional support from my partner and my intimate circle. I also have Arabic and Muslim friendships that will help me to carry out this month in the best possible way, but the fact of doing daily activities without eating, as well as maintaining a productive study routine, may occasionally be an uphill battle.
23 years old, Spanish
“Every year when Ramadan arrives, we prepare decorations and lights, and we live in a very beautiful ambient. However, in these last 10 years, we have had to prepare ourselves to suffer many pressures due to our occupation […]. During Ramadan, everything intensifies with respect to normal days. Many more searches are carried out and more checkpoints emerge. Unfortunately, the obstacles and confrontations with the Israeli military, like the closing of places of worship, have become part of the ceremony of Ramadan and other Islamic holidays in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).”
25 years old, Palestinian
“For me, it is a month of purification, of empathy with people who have fewer resources, and of personal growth. I have been practicing Ramadan for 14 years and each year I do it with more hope. My family and I center ourselves around praying, working, and leaving behind impure thoughts or words. It is a hard month as a student or worker, since in Spain many do not know about the practice. I am lucky that my boss understands and does not have a problem accommodating my work to the situation I experience from fasting during the day […]. For me, it is a month of mental strength, and above all, you realize the strength of willpower that humans have. After this month of Ramadan, you see that you are able to do anything.
23 years old, Spanish