Six Daraja Students Celebrate the Islamic Holiday of Ramadan

Islam is one of the numerous religions represented at Daraja. The most important celebration in Islam is Ramadan. Ramadan occurs in the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and begins depending on the cycle of the moon. This year, the holiday began on July 20th and concludes on August 18th. There are six Muslim girls at Daraja who celebrate Ramadan and each of them carries the tradition at Daraja, even apart from their families. Ramadan represents different ideas to each girl. According to Form 4 Hadija, “Ramadan is a month of prayer to fast to show love and remember the poor. We do it the whole day without taking anything and it unites people all over the world in the Muslim community.”

Form 4s Hadija and Leila

Each day, the six girls wake up at 4am to pray and eat breakfast before the sun rises. One difference between Daraja and home according to Hadija is that “at home there is a group of boys who volunteer themselves to wake the village up with drums.” The girls then go until sunset (around 6:45pm) without food or water. This year the holiday coincides with final exams and the girls say fasting does not affect their learning. As Form 1s, Ramadan is difficult until one has a routine, but over four years the girls have become accustomed to fasting. Form 4 Leila also says, “Ramadan is not as difficult as people think.”