From the moon to the spoon: literary memories of Ramadan
By Guest Blogger on August 17th, 2012
This summer, college student Mitul Daiyan interned at Scholatic’s corporate headquarters in our Scholastic Achievement Partners team. She had a particular experience she wanted to share with readers – the experience of Ramadan, and her favorite literary memories of the holiday. Thanks, Mitul!
When you’re fasting, the aroma of French fries wafting in from your neighbor’s desk is perhaps the biggest test of endurance. You really have to hold back from pulling a Cookie Monster and gobbling things up. Of course, Ramadan is more than just holding back from crispy, greasy, yummy fries. More than anything, I realize that if there’s one thing I love about Ramadan (and just about any other holiday for that matter), it is its ability to bring families together – and in my case, reading helps us do that.
Ramadan is a month-long holiday beginning with the sighting of the moon. On the first night and every night for the next month, we go off to the masjid (the Muslim house of worship) for the night prayers. In the early hours of the morning, long before the sun has risen, we wake to eat a hearty breakfast to prepare for the long fast ahead of us. Though we’re groggy, I love that we still get the chance to sit and have a meal before rushing off to school or work. At the end of the day, right before iftar (the breaking of the fast) we are once again together and help cook a feast fit for kings.
My absolute favorite book on Ramadan is Sylvia Whitman’s Under the Ramadan Moon. It captures the beauty of practicing our faith, exercising kindness, and being together with our families under the beautiful Ramadan moon. Her lyrical words are gentle reminders that holidays are meant to be shared with the ones we love. And the book is a reminder of how, no matter what holiday – or on any normal day of the week – families and friends can join together for a shared experience through books.
There are other titles for all ages of readers – My First Ramadan by Karen Katz, Celebrating Ramadan by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith, Magid Fasts for Ramadan by Mary Matthews, and many more. Do you have any Ramadan-themed books you enjoy? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. –Mitul Daiyan
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