By Rehab Rajoui
Mauro-Sheridan is a diverse community with people of all different faiths. Some of those faiths -- like Islam and Judaism require fasting in observance of religious holidays. Did you know that kids fast too?
Ramadan is an Islamic holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world. It is a holy, month-long holiday in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting helps Muslims concentrate on their faith, get healthy bodies, and empathize with people who are poor and don’t have enough to eat.
Dylan Pocevic, 4th grade, was 6 years old when he starting partially fasting during Ramadan. When asked if it is too hard to fast during school, Dylan said “No it is not hard. I just listen to my teacher and focus on my learning to distract myself from my hunger. My parents do not make me fast. I fast because it is part of my religion. In our family my mom fasts but not my dad and brother.”
Ahmad Abuseini, 4th grade, started partially fasting when he was 4. Ahmed said “fasting is easy, I’ve done it for so long that I’m used it. I’m perfectly fine in school because my family eats a big breakfast before sunrise. Sometimes we eat this breakfast at 3 in the morning. We have eggs, chicken, flatbread and we drink a lot of water so we don’t get dehydrated during the day. It is our tradition to break our fast with dates, and we also eat lamb. Every year I look forward to Ramadan.”
Ms. Elkamah was 14 years old when she started fasting.
"For me, it is not hard because I have been fasting for many years,” said Ms. Elkamah. “Maybe it is hard for little kids because they just started fasting and also when some people see food they start to get hungry. Because I eat food before I sleep, that keeps me energized for the next day. Also, my head just hurts for the first three days because I got used to having breakfast in the morning,” said Mrs. Elkamah.
Mrs. Lamtaai, known as Mrs. L, a teacher assistant in 4th grade, began fasting at about age 14 and said it is not hard for her because she is used it.
“Working makes the time go fast,” said Mrs. Lamtaai. She doesn’t have a hard time concentrating because the fast is not for an entire 24 hours.
“We have a meal before the sun rises, which is very nutritious and high in calories. We drink a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration,” she said.
Fasting doesn’t make her feel nauseated. The Muslim religion does not require fasting for people who are sick. “My parents started training me to fast as a child to get ready for full fasting, so it wasn’t that hard for me,” Mrs. Lamtaai said. “I have done the same training for my children. At the end of Ramadan, we celebrate by making food, praying, and spending time with our friends, family and community.”