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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ramadan in Aggieland

Bryan-College+Station+Muslim+residents+gather+at+the+Islamic+Community+of+Bryan+and+College+Station.
Photo by Cristian Aguirre

Bryan-College Station Muslim residents gather at the Islamic Community of Bryan and College Station.

As the Muslim world welcomed Ramadan with lights in the streets, festive cheers through the mosque’s speakers and meal plan preparations, some Muslims in Aggieland observed this month differently.
Ramadan, a holy month celebrated by Muslims across the globe, took place this year on May 27 and will go on until June 25. Ramadan’s occurrence happens according to the Muslim lunar calendar, which features 12 months based upon the cycles of the moon phases.
Taysa Nasoetion, chemical engineering senior said that during Ramadan Muslims can practice self-control and awareness.
“Ramadan is the holy month for Muslims, and fasting is basically holding yourself from eating from dawn until sunset,” Nasoetion said. “But it is also for us to practice self- control, do good and avoid sins at all costs.”
Lamya El Nihum, biomedical science freshman, said another reason Muslims fast during Ramadan comes from empathy for the hungry and the less fortunate.
“I think about the hungry people who [do not] have anything to break their fast… I think of that a lot,”  El Nihum said.
Civil engineering graduate student Amreen Fatima said at times she misses the traditional celebrations of Ramadan.
“When I first came here, it was very different. It is nothing like my country,” Fatima said.
However, Fatima said she managed to find a way to celebrate Ramadan in College Station through the Islamic Community of Bryan and College Station (ICBCS).
“It feels like a part of home,” Fatima said. “I don’t think without this center, I would have celebrated Ramadan. What makes me feel at home is the tradition, like when I see all the ladies and I hear Urdu.” 
Electrical engineering junior Artisia Susanto said that observing Ramadan away from home was different from doing so with her family, as there is an absence of tradition. 
“Back home we would break our fast with the community gathering to eat in the Masjid or at somebody’s house, which is a lot different [than here],” Susanto said. “Here I do homework, study all the time, and then when it is time to eat I would be sitting there by myself.”
Like Fatima, Susanto overcame homesickness and found a way to celebrate Ramadan while taking summer courses in College Station.
“We come to the ICBCS masjid for prayer and we see everybody [and] we get to know we are not in this by ourselves,” Susanto said.
Nasoetion said that A&M played a major role in accommodating and respecting the students’ needs toward their religion this year and noted that the muslim community holds great appreciation for the new prayer and meditation room in Evans Library.
“Texas A&M made Ramadan more special with the opening of the interfaith prayer/meditation room at Evans,” Nasoetion said. “I can read [the] Quran and practice my religion while I am studying there.”

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