by Amina Ibrahim
For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a month of deep reflection, devotion, and worship. It is also a time where friends and family gather to eat, pray, and be together in community. The pandemic changed Ramadan for Muslims around the world in 2020. Many of us did not expect that one year later, Ramadan 2021 would be welcomed in circumstances that look very similar to the previous year.
Yet despite all the challenges of the past year, there is hope. As more Americans get vaccinated, families are able to open their homes up to loved ones again. Friends have started to host socially distant outdoor iftar, the nightly meal when families break their fast, gatherings. Being fully vaccinated has allowed for indoor gatherings to safely occur. A refreshing escape from last year’s isolated iftars.
Continue reading Ramadan 2021: Reflections On A Year of Sacrifice, Loss, and Hope
by Sabreen Akhter
Like many children of immigrants, it was rare that I would see my mother cry. She was made of that same earthen ore that so many recent immigrants are — setting out a path for herself, and then putting her head down and throwing every ounce into the effort of her new life in America. In the 1980s, when she was still early in her career, with two young children under her care, and a husband with an equally punishing schedule, there was little time to travel to see family, and even less opportunity to connect in the ways that we can today. Long distance phone calls were prohibitively expensive, long distance flights even more so, and the intervals between seeing loved ones stretched over many years.
Continue reading Turning In to Turn Up During Ramadan
by Bunthay Cheam
“Freshly brewed green tea with cardamom that was poured in everyone’s cups while waiting for the call to prayer or the call to break fast — smelling cardamom is always soothing to me,” said Nasrin Noori, the founder and owner of Jazze’s, which serves organic and locally sourced Afghani cuisine, when asked what reminded her of Ramadan back home.
Noori, originally from Kabul, arrived in the Seattle area in the 1990s after having lived in Pakistan for six years. She has stayed ever since, raising her family in Kent where she now lives.
“Fresh seafood … fried fish and a porridge, there are certain items that you break fast with, something heating your tummy … you have it to open [you] up,” said Adama Jammeh, co-founder of Afella Jollof Catering. Jammeh grew up in Bakau, The Gambia, which sits near the confluence of the River Gambie and the Atlantic Ocean on the West African coast.
Continue reading For Two Women Small Business Owners, Ramadan Is a Moment to Remember Home
by Amina Ibrahim
What was once a month filled with community gathering, food and nightly congregational prayers now has an eerie sense of loneliness that has Muslims around the world mourning the loss of traditions held dear during the holy month of Ramadan.
Continue reading Lessons Learned From Celebrating Ramadan During a Pandemic