News / USA

US Muslim Youth Adjust to Ramadan Summer

US Muslim Youth Adjust to Ramadan Summeri
|| 0:00:00
X
Faiza Elmasry
August 07, 2012 6:12 PM
Millions of Muslims worldwide are fasting for the month of Ramadan, refraining from all food and drink during the daylight hours. In the United States, these are the longest and hottest days of the year and some Muslims are making adjustments to accommodate the fast. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.

US Muslim Youth Adjust to Ramadan Summer

Faiza Elmasry
Fourteen-year-old Maleke Nabbus enjoys playing basketball with his cousins during their summer vacation, even while they are fasting Ramadan.

“It’s not that hard," he says. "Sometimes you can’t play that long, like you play for an hour or so.”

Maleke is among millions of Muslims worldwide who are fasting for the month of Ramadan, refraining from all food and drink during the daylight hours. In the northern hemisphere, these are the longest and hottest days of the year.

Maleke's cousin, Adeeb Baiou, 17, plays organized sports which are competitive and intense. That’s why he, like many other Muslim athletes, chooses to break his fast during games.

“The most challenging part is staying hydrated and not being able to drink water,” Adeeb says.

But there is an upside to the summertime fast, according to his younger sister, Sabrine, who finds it easier because there's no school.

“I actually like it better because we don't have to wake up as early," she says. "The days maybe longer, but you can sleep until like really late in the afternoon.”

Sabrine has a summer job at a local café, so she has to be around other people eating and drinking while she's fasting.

“It’s a little tough as a person who serves food and drink to people," she says. "It’s like hard watching them, but I’m kind of trying not to think about it.”

Serage Gerbbi, 15, says many of his non-Muslim friends wonder how he manages to keep the fast.

“In the very beginning they will be in shock, like 'How do you stay without water the whole day?'" Serage says. "They are very supportive, like sometimes too shy to eat in front of me but I'm fine.”

While Serage and his friends might feel hungry, thirsty and tired at times while fasting, they understand why they're doing it.

“You start feeling closer to your religion, closer to God," Serage says. "Second of all, you remember the poor and people suffering, we’re only staying throughout the day."

“Because of not eating the whole day, I realize you really don’t need the stuff they put in your mouth all the time,” Sabrine says.

Although young children are not required to fast in Ramadan, Nourene Nabbus, 9, is fasting this year, for the second time.
Wafaa Elmahgob cooks with her daughter, Nourene Nabbus, and her niece. (VOA)Wafaa Elmahgob cooks with her daughter, Nourene Nabbus, and her niece. (VOA)
x
Wafaa Elmahgob cooks with her daughter, Nourene Nabbus, and her niece. (VOA)
Wafaa Elmahgob cooks with her daughter, Nourene Nabbus, and her niece. (VOA)

“I wanted to fast because I wanted to see what it is like with my mom and dad," she says. "They were all fasting and I didn’t know how it felt.”

Nourene's mother, Wafaa Elmahgob, is pleased her daughter is joining in the ritual. “She wants to do it. When we told her she could practice, fast like half a day because the day is long, she insisted doing it.”

Elmahgob gets pleasure out of doing ordinary things, such as cooking, during this special time.

“During the regular day, not a Ramadan day, you prepare your food in rush, in hurry to finish a dish," she says. "But when it’s Ramadan, it’s different because you’re talking your time. Actually it’s the time when I call my sisters overseas and ask them for more recipes and new things. It’s really enjoyable.”

For Elmahgob, Ramadan is the best time of the year for family members to reconnect.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid