Fast-a-thon begins: from dawn til dusk

Manal Salim

A shared experience can be the basis of friendship and understanding. This belief is part of what motivates some Muslim students here today as they encourage their peers to participate in the Fast-a-thon.
Here is a look at the experiences that emerge today:
Before sunrise
Kelsey Harper got up early this morning, when the sun was still below the horizon. After making her breakfast and eating it before the sun came up, she prepared for school, all the while knowing that she could not eat or drink anything for the next 12 hours. It might be a long, hard day.
However, Harper embraced this opportunity with a cheerful and curious attitude.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity to support my Muslim friends who have to fast regularly,” Harper said. “I think it’s a good experience to have and it helps me learn about other cultures.”
Harper plans to fast the entire day, and break the fast with other students at tonight’s dinner in the RBHS cafeteria. She is just one of many courageous students to take on the Fast-a-thon challenge.
At lunch time

During A Lunch the A.P. World Studies room is usually filled with students sitting with friends, chowing down on lunches. However, today, things are slightly different.
While some students are eating lunch, many others are spending their lunchtime courageously fighting the urge to grab a snack from the cafeteria. These students are fasting to participate in the Fast-a-Thon.
“You hear about people fasting all the time, and you think you can never do it,” sophomore Sarah Poor said.
Other students decided they just couldn’t take up this challenge,  which members of the Muslim Student Union created.
Sophomore Katie Hurdle said though she is not fasting, she still appreciates the people who took on the challenge.
“Doing the Fast-a-thon has really inspired a respect for Muslims during Ramadan because fasting is a true challenge,” Hurdle said.
Students have different reasons for fasting, but encouragement and motivation from their peers is helping them along.
“I’m mostly doing it because a lot of my friends are in MSU [Muslim Student Union],” Poor said, “so I got 20 people asking me to do this.”
As the day drags on…
The day seems to continue endlessly as students await the setting of the sun, the moment they will finally break their fasts. Pangs of hunger growl in empty stomachs, but the fasting students keep at the forefront of their minds the reason why the are participating in the first place.
Although they are excited to attend the dinner at RBHS this evening at 5:30 p.m., students find the deeper meaning in what they have been doing.
“It’s a really culturally enriching experience that I’m so excited to participate in,” sophomore Anna Wright said.
Wright isn’t the only student giving up food for the sake of a greater cause. Fellow sophomore Ross Parks finds fasting as “something to do to appreciate what you have.”
The motive for fasting differs among each student, but their reasons remain selfless and aimed at understanding others.
“Fasting gives me an insight into the day in the life of a Muslim,” sophomore Trisha Chaudhary said.

by Afsah Khan and Manal Salim