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Lifestyle

Living in Halls during Ramadan

By hughero 30 Jan 2024

´╗┐Hear from Crown Place Residential Adviser, Ahlam, about how it feels spending Ramadan in Halls. 

I have been asked how it feels like to be an international student living in Halls during Ramadan.

Well, this will be my fifth year abroad. And I can barely remember all the things I have been doing since then.

But surely, I will never forget the sense of loneliness that hit me (and still hits me!) in Ramadan.

I have always considered Ramadan as an introspective and spiritual month, where everyone focuses on seeking expiation for their sins by attempting to create a better version of themselves.

However, this is the time of the year when the sense of community is deeper and more intense. Everyone is focusing on their own self-growth, but the purpose is the same: everyone is fasting, and everyone is trying to improve themselves.

Ramadan also becomes that moment of the year where you can see families cook together more often. And when it is time to break the fasting, everyone gathers, sharing meals in front of tables full of different types of food. Then, when stomachs are filled, and the dishes are done, they spend the night praying all together either at their houses or at the Mosque. 

And I am constantly missing that. God, how much I am missing that!

It is so that in Ramadan, for us international students, loneliness and homesickness take over. Especially because most of us are not able to go back home, even for a couple of days, due to financial, logistics or time constraints.

On top of those limitations, the sleep pattern changes, the concentration decreases, and new habits gain control. The well-being is put to test, and it is challenging to cope with all those mood swings.

Don't get me wrong, I still feel excited about the idea that Ramadan is on its way, and I am always looking forward to it. But I can't help feeling homesick and alone when, as the sun goes down, it is time to get ready for the iftar meal. And I end up feeling reluctant at the idea of cooking something that I will eat only myself, lacking the verve and creativity that I would have had knowing that I am sharing it with someone else. It is definitely a feeling that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

This is why, this year, as an RA at Crown Place, I have decided to collaborate with the Halls Life Team for an iftar event that will take place in Halls on the 13th of March. The purpose of this event is to allow students to get to know each other in the first week of Ramadan, so that they can keep gathering throughout the rest of the month and reduce (or even no longer suffer from) homesickness or loneliness. More details about the Ifar event will be coming soon!

In the past years, Halls Life team and the UoL islamic society had done their best to increase the sense of inclusion among students, raising the awareness of what Ramadan means for us. And this year, I will do my part too!

Topics

ramadan, iftar, blogs,