Ramadan in America: How fast it ends [Archives:2006/989/Reportage]
As in any country, Muslims in America receive Ramadan with happiness, pleasure, and cheerfulness. There are Islamic organizations and associations in all states of the United States of America. These associations assist with Muslim's affairs. In Ramadan, for example, these organizations tell Muslims about the beginning and the end of the month and provide supports to Muslims by holding Iftar meals and collecting Zakat. These organizations, moreover, build mosques with their services.
What is strange here, in America, is that people, non-Muslims, cannot accept the idea of fasting. They cannot believe that a person can keep fasting the whole day for a month. Once they know that you are fasting, they, especially friends, never eat or drink in your presence. They do not want to hurt your feelings or cause you any discomfort. Really they respect others.
Muslims in America have their own places of prayer as other religious people have. Muslims, during Ramadan, pray most of their prayers, including Tarawih and Qiam, in the mosques.
America, as we know, is a mixture of cultures and religions; consequently, every one can perform his religion easily without any annoyance.
There is not a big difference in the kinds of food American Muslims have during Ramadan than the other months. Muslims keep working during the day as usual. They do not feel that Ramadan is a long month; it passes so fast. Muslims invite each other during Ramadan to have Iftar and share celebrating this month.
By the end of Ramadan, Muslims may buy clothes for their families for Eid and try to take one day, the day of Eid, off to celebrate Eid and share happiness with family and friends.
Finally, as Ramadan comes, it goes and people start their usual life waiting for the next Ramadan.
Saleh Al-Ba'dani is a Yemeni student in the United States of America.