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Event Held to Raise Awareness of Muslim Students’ Needs in Ramadan

Unlike the residents of Islamic countries, Muslims in the United States often don’t enjoy special accommodations during Ramadan.

For students participating in fasting during the holy month, this circumstance may make fasting especially daunting as they go through their school day. One Houston-area group, however, is looking to give them a little help.

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A group of Muslim mothers recently held the Know Your Muslim Student event, bringing together nearly 100 educators and over 100 Muslim students and their parents from around the city to learn about Ramadan and the challenges it may present for kids fasting.

📚 Read Also: Is It Too Late to Plan for Ramadan?

Dina Abdelrahman, a licensed professional counselor, was part of the organizing committee.

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She said the program, which included talks and a dinner at the Clear Lake Islamic Center south of Houston, was important to ensuring non-Muslim educators were aware not only that Ramadan is set to start soon, but also of the challenges their fasting students might be experiencing, including tiredness, brain fog and low energy.

“Our main purpose is to educate about Muslim children and their needs, some of the struggles that they might have, and to try and make it a bit easier for our Muslim kids in school,” Abdelrahman told AboutIslam.

“We want the teachers to know the Ramadan is coming and what will be happening.”

The 2022 event, which was the third such event, included a dinner, a talk from a local imam about the Islamic faith and practices, as well as issues specific to Ramadan, including early-morning meals and late-night prayer.

Accommodating Fasting Students

Abdelrahman said the commentary centered on suggesting appropriate accommodations for fasting students during physical education class or other sports.

“We let them know that we are not there to vent or whine, we want them to be our allies,” she said. “In the three years we’ve done it we’ve had overwhelming support.”

She stressed the Know Your Muslim Student event is not a forum to convert non-Muslims.

“We do not preach or push our beliefs. We want to empower our allies with knowledge,” Abdelrahman said.

📚 Read Also: Is It Too Late to Plan for Ramadan?

The organizing group, made up of a five to six Muslim mothers, is also concerned with outreach.

Abdelrahman said the event program included education about how teachers can join with Muslim parents in offering emotional support to students, who can be vulnerable to bullying from their peers.

“Our kids do face some bullying from other kids and, sadly, from teachers sometimes too, so we talked about how inclusiveness can (positively) affect them and how teachers can be the kids’ number one influencers,” she said, adding,

“It’s challenging for our kids to go through this. As children, they are forming their identities and building their self-esteem, so we need support from their teachers.”

📚 Read Also: 15 Hadiths About Ramadan