۷ مهر ۱۴۰۱ |۳ ربیع‌الاول ۱۴۴۴ | Sep 29, 2022
students

"When they come to this space, all of them are fasting so they don't feel bad," said Haja Nabie, an educational assistant at the school who worked to create the space for students.

Hawzah News Agency – While most students at Lackner Woods Public School are eating their lunch, Muslim students who have been fasting for the month of Ramadan gather in room 206 for actives and crafts.

Fasting for Ramadan can be hard on young people, not used to the holy tradition — especially as they watch their peers eat lunch.

"When they come to this space, all of them are fasting so they don't feel bad," said Haja Nabie, an educational assistant at the school who worked to create the space for students.

"They're young and just starting their fasting process and some get a handle of it and others don't."

While they gather, students work on activities and crafts, play games and also learn about the importance of the holy month.

"We make stars or we make cards or we play games with a ball and we pass it around to each other," said Grade 6 student Noor Alghabra.

Like Nabie, the students taking part in the group say they feel a sense of belonging and appreciation.

"It makes me feel special and appreciated and it makes it easier for me fasting," said Ayah Elsaadi, also in Grade 6.

"I appreciate that they gave us this space to stay in for fasting and I thank all the teachers for supporting us," Alghbra adds.

Elsaadi and Alghabra are both fasting full days and said they prepare by eating as much as they can during the morning meal, called suhoor.

Grade 5 student, Yussif Elsaadi, said he normally eats eggs and sandwiches during suhoor and have a group to join during lunch helps him fast.

"It makes it feel much easier because you don't have to see all of the food," he said.

The school has also arranged a space for students to pray during Ramadan.

Trina Mulahll, a kindergarten teacher at the school who worked with Nabie on the idea, said staff renovated a change room down the hall and even brought in mats and extra hijabs for students.

She feels it's important that students don't feel alone during their fast and hopes initiatives like this one spark a conversation among others.

"I think it's important to normalize it," Mulahll said. "I think for a lot of people, they don't understand or they don't know a lot about the holiday so creating a space for it and discussing it, it opens up dialogue."

Mulahll said it's also important for students to feel represented at school and says she's seen how the lunch time group has given students a boost of self esteem.

"There's a lot of joy and peace in the month and it's so nice to see all the students be able to reflect that with each other and to feel confident," she said.

Mulahll and Nabie hope this is something the school continues to do for students going forward.

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