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

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Daniela Deu was drawn to both architecture and urbanism, believes architecture can change communitie ...

Canes Basketball player development assistant will graduate with MSED in Sport Administation. ...

UOnline graduate will earn his M.S. in Health Informatics ...

Seeking a college experience within a diverse community, this graduate found her home away from home ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

Two Hurricanes receive AVCA All-America recognition for first time since 2014. ...

Coming off its first top-25 victory of the year, the Miami women's basketball team will play it ...

Hurricanes earn highest ranking since March 2013. ...

Walker IV recorded a career-high 26 points, seven rebounds in the win over Boston U. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

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.