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Group Offers Fasting Students Free Iftar Meals

Seeing students picking up take away meals at the university center on Memorial University’s campus is a common scene those days.

Only a few days before exams, most of these students are Muslims who are observing the Ramadan fast and will only eat at iftar later at sunset.

The meals are provided by the university’s Muslim Students’ Association to help students balance exams with Ramadan.

📚 Read Also: Ramadan: Suhoor Meals Bring Harvard Muslims Students Together

“Everyone looks a little stressed,” Nusrat Zahan, a member of MSA, told CBC

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“But y’know what? They also look relieved, because they don’t have to make food at home,” she said. “So they’re like ‘OK, I can come here, get my food, and I don’t have to worry.'”

Exams Dilemma

Like a lot of Muslim students at Memorial, Zahan is trying to get a thesis done while juggling her other obligations.

“It’s just a way of … letting everyone know that you’re not in this alone. It’s gonna be okay, it’s just a few more weeks,” she said, referring to Eid al-Fitr, the holiday which marks the end of Ramadan

“When the students come to pick up their iftar I like to check up on them and see what they’re doing,” she said. “If they’re super stressed out I can give them a few words of encouragement – although I myself am very stressed out.”

With final exams happening during Ramadan, sharing iftar meals is a luxury not many students can afford.

MSA vice president Jannath Naveed said the group has been offering nearly 200 meals every day during Ramadan. 

“Over here, international students don’t have their families, they don’t often live with their friends and they don’t often have a lot of people around them that they can connect with,” said Naveed.

“Of course we cannot replace family, but we can just provide sort of a home away from home.”