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Ramadan Iftar Dinner

On Mar. 27, Meredith International Association (MIA), Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Interfaith Alliance (IFA) partnered to hold a Ramadan Iftar event. The night opened with a presentation by Fiaz Fareed, a community member, who explained that Muslims fast as a way of showing obedience to God and talked about some of the health benefits of fasting. There was a panel composed of three students, Rama Salameh, ‘27, Ihsan Mohammed, and Sania Siddique, to present some of the cultural differences in food, clothing, and traditions around Ramadan and share some of their memories and experiences. At sundown, dates and water were distributed so that attendees could break their fast, and Muslim attendees went into the alcove for prayer. Afterwards, food was served upstairs. 

Rama Salameh, ‘27, spoke as the panelist representative for Palestine and Jordan. Salameh said that the event was “intended for education.” Salameh spoke of promoting accommodation for Meredith’s Muslim population who are not given academic accommodation during Ramadan. All three of the panelists noted how in Muslim countries, schools and businesses let out early, and teachers are easier on students because they are fasting, which affects their performance. Salameh noted how Meredith gave students Good Friday off but provides no such accommodation for Muslim holidays, and that final exams tend to be around the same time as the end Ramadan and can interfere with religious obligations. Salameh said that, by being on the panel, she “was able to give people [her] own perspective” on Ramadan.

The MSA’s and MIA’s Ramadan events have provided the Meredith community with the opportunity to connect and learn more about Meredith’s Muslim community. The event also provided members of MSA the opportunity to share their perspectives on observing Ramadan in a country where Islam is not a majority religion, as well as to raise awareness about some of the barriers Muslim students face when observing Ramadan in an academic environment. 

By Lola Mestas, Copy Editor



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