Special Request–Please help & Pass on to anyone who might be interested!
Starting in August is the Muslim month of Ramadan. School hours will be significantly reduced to accommodate fasting during daylight hours. Ramadan is a major Islamic holiday, and the tradition of fasting means different things to different people. My students and the students of other Volunteers are intensely interested in U.S. Muslims or how non-Muslim U.S. citizens view their faith. The interest is peaked by the looming Ramadan. As a response to this, one of my fellow Volunteers is attempting to make a video compilation of U.S. citizen commentary on fasting, Ramadan, the Islamic faith, and faith in general. The Volunteer has asked all serving in East Java to forward her original message (below) to solicit responses from people across the U.S. Read the forwarded message, and if you feel like you can contribute, e-mail me your video. I will make sure it gets to the Volunteer working on the final product. The Volunteer is hoping to have the material by August 3rd.
[original message from the Volunteer–originally posted on Facebook]
As some of you may know, during my first year in Indonesia, I fasted during Ramadan as a way to get to know my community a little better, get to know the culture, and to learn more about Islamic faith. This year, I plan on fasting again, but I would also like to contribute something more to my community in the process. Last year I got a lot of questions about whether there were Muslims in America, whether Ramadan was celebrated there, whether they fasted, and so on. So, next week, at the beginning of Ramadan, I would like to have a special discussion about “fasting”, what it means to different people, and how it is observed in different cultures and societies—specifically in the context of the American and Indonesian cultures. My plan is to have a video compilation of different people and their experiences and views of fasting and Ramadan. And this is where I need some help =) I know this is really late, but I would really like to get short (VERY SHORT—30 seconds to 5 minutes max) videos of Americans addressing one or more of these topics: What does Ramadan mean to you?Why do you “fast”?Describe the atmosphere of fasting and Ramadan in America.How does fasting affect your daily routine/ schedule/ activities during the month of Ramadan?How do you break your fast? Do you, or your community, have any special traditions, activities, or customs that you practice for or before breaking fast?Tell me about a typical day during the fasting month of Ramadan. (When do you wake up? When does fasting start/end—here the signal is the muezzin, or call to prayer that is played over the loud speakers in the mosques all around the village—what is your signal? How do you keep yourself energized? Work/school/etc?)What are some challenges you face during the fasting month? What are your post-fasting activities (after breaking fast)? Prayer? Community gathering? Do you go to the mosqueAnything else you would like to share about being Muslim in America and how that might affect you during the fasting month. OK there are a few things to remember when making your video: – This does not have to be a high quality video, but I must be able to hear what you are saying loudly and clearly. – Please speak slowly; the people watching this video are beginners in learning English, so in order for them to understand you cannot talk too quickly. – Please make it short! I have about a week to put this together (I know that is my fault for making it so late) so having to download, edit, and put together the video might take a while. – Share this with all your Muslim friends who might be interested in making a contribution to this video! – Email your video to me AT THE LATEST by Wednesday, August 3rd at firstname.lastname@example.org (and feel free to have your friends email me too!) [e-mail this to me, Jay Wellik; you should know my e-mail address; I’ll forward it to the Volunteer who is actually compiling the video.] Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think may be interested, email me back with questions or suggestions, and PLEASE try to get this back to me as soon as possible! Again, the deadline is next Wednesday, August 3rd, so I hope to hear back from you soon! Thanks in advance, xxxxx