Ramadan takes place when much of the NYU Abu Dhabi community is away for the summer, so the Office of Student Life organized a series of events, including a day of fasting, to "create an opportunity for NYUAD to enjoy Ramadan and understand more about it," said Sanaa Amro, student life specialist.
Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk;This encourages Muslims, who refrain from food and drink, to focus on prayers and the recitation of the Holy Qur'an.
When asked what they were most thankful for, most participants said friends and family, health and opportunities. Many kept a journal of their fasting experience, documenting the day's highs and lows, and offered to share them with the NYUAD community.
William Young (Class of '18) said he was “happy to be joining in a meaningful experience" while Kelly Murphy (Class of '18) recounted the paradox of being part of a common cause, but feeling alone: “I felt connected to the other participants of Tajorbati, akin to the feeling of brothers in battle. At the same time, it was a very solitary experience.”
The hardest part of my day was not how hungry I was at one given point, but the thought of how much hungrier I would be later on in the day.
I am so excited for this day! I am nervous that I may not make it or that I did not eat or drink enough this morning.
I am hungry, thirsty, grumpy and weak.
Did you have any temptations?
I grew incredibly hungry at noon, and now, at 4 p.m. I am very thirsty and I have a headache brewing. It was difficult to resist the beautiful fruit available at my morning meeting, and now there is a banana on my desk which I saved for my daughter but it is calling my name!
Worked out. I decided to do what I normally do except without nourishment. No food or drink while reading my morning newspaper and news online. I want to make it as normal a day as possible.
I’m wondering what I should do with the free time I’ve created for myself because I’m not eating meals. I guess it’s at this point that I can spend time alone pondering life, religion, or anything I want to ponder, but that’s not me. I don’t need to ponder things. I know who I am, what I like, how I can help others, so what’s to ponder? Maybe I’ll just read instead of eating lunch today.
I’m at my desk working, feeling hungry. I don’t think I’m necessarily missing the liquid end of things. This is not a sacrifice other than me feeling a little uncomfortable. I know people go through worse in life and I have family member that is, so this is nothing.
Arrived home and I feel fine. Physically this has not been nearly as difficult as I expected. Mentally just doing it one day really hasn’t led me to any different spot.
I feel fine. I usually don’t eat breakfast first thing, so it wasn’t too difficult. However, I did hate not getting to grab a coffee as I arrived to work, which is my usual routine.
Oh goodness I’m hungry! My hunger has gone beyond just the need to fill the emptiness in my belly; I am craving certain tastes, a bite of a hot gooey pizza, a big bowl of Asian stir fry. I don’t just miss the nutrients, but the entire experience of eating, which goes to show how privileged I am.
What was the hardest part of your day?
The hardest part of my day was not how hungry I was at one given point, but the thought of how much hungrier I would be later on in the day. It was never unbearable, but it was also frustrating to know that I couldn’t immediately satiate my hunger or quench my thirst in that moment. It made me think how lucky I am to have access to food, water, snacks, coffee, etc., at any time, not just for flavor and satisfaction but just purely for nutritional content.
Why didn’t you give in?
Giving in would have been possible, almost even excusable, but by no means necessary.