Close to 70 students participated in the annual Fast-a-thon hosted by the Muslim Student Union Friday, Nov. 4. The 12 hours of fasting ended with a fast-breaking presentation, prayer and dinner held in the PAC and cafeteria. The dinner featured Middle Easter and Indian dishes like samusa, hummus and pita bread, Libyan soup and various desserts.
“Our theme was ‘Appreciating the Unappreciated.’ As Muslims and non-Muslims alike, we wanted to feel for those who are less fortunate than us,” senior and MSU president Adam Mefrakis said. “By fasting, we recognize and feel compassion towards people in poverty.”
Abstaining from food and drink also creates self-control, and MSU wanted to give non-Muslims a “mind-opening experience,”Mefrakis said.
For junior Ipsa Chaudhary, eating before sunrise was not a challenge. The time read 4:07 when she got up to study for a chemistry test, but after a shower and a glass of milk, she went back to bed. When she woke up again, her day of fasting had already begun.
“I wasn’t really hungry until about fourth hour,” Chaudhary said. “When I got home, the first thing I did was go to the kitchen and open the pantry and then realize[d] I couldn’t eat. It was such a sad feeling.”
A few hours later, Chaudhary and Mefrakis were both back at school, ready to start the fast-breaking festivities. After the presentation and prayer, the students ate the traditional fast-breaking dates before rewarding themselves with the MSU-prepared dinner.
“Fasting is a way to prove to myself that I have some self-discipline,” Chaudhary said. “It was a feeling of accomplishment that I could actually hold out the whole time.”
By Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj