Holy month unites Muslims

The GW Muslim community begins the holy month of Ramadan this
year with a greater sense of unity after the events of Sept. 11.

Ramadan will begin this year at sunrise Friday and will last for 30 days, ending at dusk Dec. 15. During the holy month, Muslims around the world abstain from food, drink and sexual activity from sunrise to sundown.

“Ramadan was the month in which our holy book was revealed to Prophet Mohammed,” said Sanam Nowrouzzadeh, vice president of the Muslim Students Association. “It helps me remember God more. It’s more meaningful for me because not everyone around me has to participate in it.”

“We also remember those who are not as fortunate as we are,” Nowrouzzadeh said.

Muslims must also recited one-13th of the Koran each night of Ramadan.

To adhere to the religious mandate, the MSA will host free dinners at 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursday throughout the month. About 200 Muslim students and non-Muslim students are expected to attend.

Participating Muslims will break their fast over a post-dusk meal called an iftar. Local restaurants will cater food for the events, including Middle Eastern, South Asian, Chinese cuisine and pizza. The iftars will be held in the Marvin Center and Miriam’s Kitchen.

“It’s a social month; it’s festive. And everyone practices to a different extent, everyone prays,” junior Sarmadi Almecci said. “There is a lot of unity.”

“Especially since Sept. 11 there has been a rise in interest in Islam, we have to reassure the American public that what happened on Sept.11 has nothing to do with Islam,” Nowrouzzadeh said. “I hope we can reflect upon the tragedy and put aside cultural difference to help the world deal from such a tragic event.”

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