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Ramadan to occur week before finals

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Students prepare to adjust, school emphasizes inclusion

Sophomores+Aisha+Abdi+and+Ainee+Mohamud+enjoy+lunch+the+week+leading+up+to+Ramadan.+Those+participating+will+not+be+able+to+eat+or+drink+from+dawn+to+dusk+throughout+the+holiday.+
Sophomores Aisha Abdi and Ainee Mohamud enjoy lunch the week leading up to Ramadan. Those participating will not be able to eat or drink from dawn to dusk throughout the holiday.

Sophomores Aisha Abdi and Ainee Mohamud enjoy lunch the week leading up to Ramadan. Those participating will not be able to eat or drink from dawn to dusk throughout the holiday.

Hadeal Rizeq

Hadeal Rizeq

Sophomores Aisha Abdi and Ainee Mohamud enjoy lunch the week leading up to Ramadan. Those participating will not be able to eat or drink from dawn to dusk throughout the holiday.

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Every year, freshman Zahra Mohamed looks forward to the Muslim holiday, Ramadan, but worries academics and finals will make things difficult.

“I love Ramadan. I’m kind of excited that Ramadan is coming up, but I feel like the best idea is to not have it during finals because some people are really exhausted,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed said school during Ramadan gets in the way of her religious obligations, like prayer.

“If I was at Taraweeh, I wouldn’t be able to get the work I that I was supposed to be getting done, so I will have more homework. I wouldn’t even be able to do my finals anymore,” Mohamed said. “I think (school) gets in my way because I’m trying to do things on time, but also getting my work done.”

According to assistant principal Kari Schwietering, graduation was scheduled earlier than most years due to the arrival of Ramadan.

“When we look at our school calendar, we do look at all of the holidays, and that’s how we plan our graduation,” Schwietering said. “So actually that’s why it impacted graduation, and why graduation is happening on the 25th this year.”

Junior Rahma Farah said she plans on taking most of her finals early this semester so she has more time to focus on the holiday.

“I am planning on taking most of my finals before Ramadan, so I don’t have to go through (more stress),” Farah said.

Farah said since Ramadan is during the school year, teachers and staff should consider that students are fasting.

“I think they should really consider the students that do go through Ramadan (because) it’s not just one student, a lot of people go through it,” Farah said. “They should take into consideration how they should handle the school, and the lessons they teach in class.”

Chemistry teacher Alexander Polk said by having his students take the final before Ramadan, there is more time to grade efficiently.

“I don’t want my students to take finals while they are fasting,” Polk said. “Instead of being,’it’s a week before Ramadan’, let’s start preparing for it.”

Farah said although others being aware to the holiday is essential, she doesn’t want non-Muslim students to be thrown off on their own education as well.

“I’m not saying we are the most important (people), but they should take us into consideration,” Farah said.

Mohamed said other students not knowing much about the holiday concerns her.

“This is the first time I have fasted in this school. I think non-Muslims think it doesn’t matter because they’re not the ones fasting,” Mohamed said.

Polk said the importance of knowing about other people in connection to their religions is necessary.

“We accommodate different religions for certain things, but if we’re not accommodating others for whatever reason, then that is something,” Polk said. “We should be more accommodating. If we’re not willing to accommodate different religions, that is an issue.”

Mohamed said she remembers how her posters regarding Donald Trump’s presidential executive order banning immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries resonated with the community. She said she hopes she can do something similar for Ramadan.

“Remember the time I made the posters? If I did something like that for Ramadan, and explaining more of what happens during Ramadan, not in a religious way, but in a way that’s appropriate for the school, then I feel like people will understand and respect the rules in Ramadan,” Mohamed said.

Schwietering said in order for Ramadan to be efficient and satisfying for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, it is important to focus on the needs of students fasting.

“We continue to keep our students at the center, that is what we do,” Schwietering said. “Talking to our students and listening, and getting (the) student voice about what they need, it’s always an important piece.”

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Ramadan to occur week before finals