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Students unite for Fast-a-thon

By Jennifer Case

November 5, 2003 9:00 pm

Students from throughout the campus are joining Muslim students
who are observing Ramadan and fast from sunrise to sunset today in
an all-day Fast-a-thon, put on by the Muslim Student

Ramadan, a religious holiday that calls for fasting, inner
reflection and religious devotion, began last week and will
continue for a month.

The Fast-a-thon was designed to bring together non-Muslim
students of multiple religions and backgrounds to highlight the
fundamentals of Ramadan, said MSA President Miriam Jukaku.

The Fast-a-thon will raise money to feed the homeless,
challenging each participant with the question, “Will you go
hungry for one day so someone else won’t have to?”
according to an MSA flyer.

MSA expects to raise about $2,000 that it will donate to the hot
meals program for the Health Fair for the Homeless, which will take
place on Nov. 16. More than 13 businesses are sponsoring the event
and have pledged to donate one dollar for each individual who
participates in the Fast-a-thon.

“It is an opportunity for non-Muslims to learn the beauty
of fasting. There is no better way to understand it than to
experience it,” said Hassan Siddiqi, president of
Innov8v.com, a sponsor of the Fast-a-thon.

More than 150 students are expected to participate in the
Fast-a-thon and will break their fast together when the sun sets
tonight in the Kerckhoff Grand Salon.

“Through exposing people to what Ramadan is all about, we
are bringing people together,” Jukaku said.

Jukaku believes an objective of Ramadan is to experience the
hunger many people face on a daily basis. She added that MSA would
like to share this with other students who do not usually take part
in Ramadan.

“The opportunity to help people who don’t have food
was presented, and I feel (the event) is an obligation,” said
Sam Soleimany, a fourth-year psychology student and a member of the
Progressive Jewish Students’ Association.

Soleimany is one of many non-Muslim students who are
participating in the event to help people who do not have the
luxury of eating everyday.

Students belonging to different organizations are participating
in the Fast-a-thon in some way. The student group MEChA cancelled a
food sale scheduled for today when they were notified of the

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Jennifer Case
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