News

Students go hungry to feed others

A crowd of silent fasters listened to prayers in the dimly lit UC Ballrooms on Tuesday night during the breaking-of-the-fast dinner on this day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The vast majority of the crowd, however, was not Muslim.

The dinner was a culmination of the third annual “Fast-a-thon” programmed by the Islamic Society at the University of Miami [ISUM].

According to Wajiha Akhtar, ISUM’s public relations chair, local businesses pledged to donate one dollar to The Daily Bread Food Bank, a local non-profit food bank, for each non-Muslim student, staff or faculty member who pledged to go hungry for one day.

The event raised $2,100, with over 460 participants. The numbers beat last year’s event, which raised less than $2,000 with about 300 participants, Akhtar said.

Minal Ahson, Fast-a-thon chair and founder of the event at UM, said that she hoped participants would learn something from the experience of fasting.

“Hopefully they will learn about the problem of hunger here in Miami and around the world and understand how and why Muslims observe fasting,” Ahson said.

Fast-Facts
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam
33 million people in the U.S. cannot afford food
Over $2,000 was raised for the Fast-a-thon, which will provide over 12,000 meals for those who need it

Student Government President Vance Aloupis remarked on how the event made him feel as a participant.

“Fasting is a cleansing experience,” Aloupis said. “It’s great to see how many people fasted – to think that they spent their entire day without food just to feed others is twonderful.”

Akhtar said that every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed.

“It is regarded principally as a method of self-purification,” Akhtar said. “While fasting we gain sympathy for those who are hungry as well as growth within our spiritual life.”

Yadira Alonso, a junior who participated in the Fast-a-thon, felt the impact of the fast.

“I don’t know how to describe it really, but I feel like I’m in a different state of mind,” Alonso said. “It’s a spiritual feeling.”

According to Ahson, the Fast-a-thon began at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2001.

“They decided to share the idea and make it a national event the following year, Ramadan 2002,” Ahson said. “That year, we found out about it and decided to host the event here at UM.”

>> For more information, email isum@yahoogroups.com or visit www.fastathon.org.

Reeva Oza can be contacted at r.oza@umiami.edu.

October 29, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.