Our Arabic Language Regional Marketing Coordinator Nora takes us through her experiences of celebrating Ramadan…
Ever since I was a child, I remember Ramadan as the month that brought families and friends together for iftar and watching TV series.
I remember it as the month where we thought more of the less fortunate, and a month where I felt proud of myself for completing another day of fasting.
This year, Muslims all over the United Kingdom will have long days, fasting for over nineteen hours this summer.
At first, I approached this prospect with angst and I thought to myself, “nineteen hours of fasting is an extremely long time!”
However, I began to reflect on the reasons as to why I love Ramadan, and why it is my favourite month of the year.
As someone who spends a lot of time outside the house, cooking is one of those things that I am guilty of not doing enough.
During Ramadan, I spend more time at home, and cooking becomes an easier option to eating out. As I crave the foods I haven’t eaten all day, it is rewarding to learn how to cook your favourite meal for yourself and others.
Whether I like it or not, cooking is a skill I should have learnt by now!
Family and Friends
Bringing family and friends together is my favourite aspect of Ramadan. Even though most of my family live in Egypt, we keep in touch more than usual during this month.
We exchange pictures of our iftar, speak on Skype and support each other.
I have some Muslim friends that live in nearby cities that I’ve known for years and don’t see enough. During Ramadan, we get together for Iftar and it is wonderful!
Two years ago, I remember the first two weeks of Ramadan being the hardest that I had ever experienced. It wasn’t because of the long days, or the lack of water and food.
I was extremely tired during the day which I later realised was a result of my body being used to large intakes of caffeine.
On average, I was having three to four cups of coffee a day and I didn’t even realise it!
Whether your bad habit is a dependence on caffeine, or you complain too much, fasting is a great way to make you aware of this!
Having lived in the UK for the last six years, there is no doubt that I miss the Middle East.
During Ramadan, I eat more Arabic food; I read more Arabic literature and I listen to readings from the Quran.
Ramadan makes me feel more at home even when I am not, and as cheesy as it sounds, the month of Ramadan is a piece of home that I carry with me.
There is no better feeling than gratitude. During Ramadan, I feel a heightened sense of generosity and kindness.
I want to be nicer to people, I am more sensitive to those around me and I feel grateful for everything that I am blessed to have.
Ramadan Kareem means “Ramadan is Kind.” Make the most of it, be good to each other and enjoy its blessings!
Find out how our students are celebrating Ramadan this year on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Add #intoramadan to your tweets and Instagram pictures to get involved, and check out our courses on our website if you want to kick-start your study abroad experience.
February-my favorite month of the year! Now mind you, I said month, not season. I don’t like winter. However, February being my favorite month really has nothing to do with the winter weather, unless you count the fact that we are supposed to get up to 35 degrees this week! Going to be breaking out the flip-flops and rolling down the car windows!
See February is a busy month for me. When people ask how do farmers stay busy during the winter season, oh boy do we stay busy!
February is a busy month! Not including homework, social activities and family birthdays!
Every star on this calendar marks something ag related I am attending be it a conference, board meeting, speaking engagement, committee meeting, symposium, or volunteer activity.
Yeap, that is a lot of agriculture in one month when everyone thinks farmers are on “vacation.” I am learning just about everything I can about upcoming ag issues, polishing leadership skills, helping with policy development, getting bee keeping questions answered, going to legislature meet and greets, giving speeches about my farm, volunteering to help out with other ag activities, and more.
I love February because it is a busy month full of ag related business, and I love every minute of it. As a farmer, I consider it my duty to learn as much as I can about agriculture be it changes to technology, new research, better communication skills, or updates on new laws. If I’m going to be not just a good farmer, but a great farmer, I consider all of that part of my farming responsibilities. It isn’t an addition to my “farming job,” it is part of it and an integral part at that.
Now, I have my mom’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, and a few close friends’ birthdays in February too. So it is a busy month for celebrations! See that big pink heart on the 14th, you might think it represents Valentine’s Day, and it does kind of, but that is my birthday too! So this month is busy with cake in my family! Although we typically get a variety: cupcakes, DQ cake, cheesecake, you get the idea! Cake is how I keep my sanity during a busy February. And yes, the hubs gets off easy with Valentine’s and my birthday on the same day!
Yes, I have a favorite month. Not a single thing has to do with weather, but the opportunities surrounding ag that present themselves during that month. February is full of experiences that I am excited to participate in. Oh and the cake!
Do you have a favorite ag meeting or conference you go to? Or do you volunteer your time to help increase ag awareness? Or maybe you are super busy with family responsibilities-basketball and danceline?