Afifa Shah

Afifa Shah

What is your favorite part of Ramadan?

What I love about Ramadan is even though it’s a religious thing… it makes you a better person. 

Do you get hungry, especially when others eat around you?

It doesn’t bother me. That’s the whole point–constraint–and it’s good. I mean, if the whole time people were avoiding food because of me, I feel like it’d be like getting an easy way or cheating out, but I don’t mind at all. I sit with my friends during lunch and I get hungry, but it’s a normal part of it.

What is the hardest part of fasting at school?

The hardest part, I think, would be the schoolwork because I need to go to sleep at like 9:30 p.m., so I can wake up at like 4 a.m., but I get home around 4 p.m. and then I have like 10 other things to do, like homework and other extracurriculars. 

How do you balance school/ extracurriculars and Ramadan?

Well, thank God Ramadan isn’t during theater season, otherwise, I’d be dead. But I usually try to do my work and go to sleep at 9:30 p.m., if not 10-ish. And then when I wake up for suhoor [the meal before starting your fast] at like 4 or 5 a.m., then I’ll just stay awake.

How do you keep up with schoolwork?

I feel like my grades are doing better because my studying habits are doing better because Ramadan in general is making me a better person.

What is one thing you wish others were aware of about Ramadan?

 I wish they didn’t think it was like we’re starving ourselves and that we’re so [extreme]… to not eat or drink for 30 days. People don’t realize you can go a month without food and three days without water. 

What is one thing that would make school during Ramadan easier?

St. Mary’s prides itself on the leniency of teachers, and I really wish that they’d actually apply that. When Ramadan starts, our teachers should be like, “hey, so I know you’re fasting.”


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