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'Do More Good Deeds:' A North Texan Reflects On Meaning, Experience Of Ramadan

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Associated Press
Fasting is a large part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Dates are a traditional way to break the daily fast.

Muslims in North Texas and around the world have been celebrating Ramadan, the holy month during which Muslims fast daily from dawn through dusk. It ends with Eid al-Fitr.

Noura Shuqair is a visual artist and art education PhD student at the University of North Texas in Denton. She shared her thoughts on Ramadan:

The meaning of Ramadan: "Ramadan is a holy month and is an important month for Muslims because it's the month where the Quran was delivered to Prophet Muhammad. Also the last 10 days of Ramadan, one of them is the Laylatul Qadr, which is a very important night for Muslims. Because if you pray to Allah to...whatever you want, he might consider your prayers and change your destiny. That's why it's called Laylatul Qadr because the destiny could change if you pray."

A time for reflection: "So, I really love Ramadan because it's a time where I can reflect and reconsider my behavior, everything I've been doing, and I think about everything that I love and take for granted, and how I should be thankful for all these things in my life, and also try to evaluate myself and try to do more good deeds and try to change some of the things that I don't like about my behavior."

Breaking the fast: "I also like Ramadan because it's time when my family and extended family gather. So we see people who we haven't seen for a while. What I always eat at Ramadan, like when I break fast after sunset, I start with a date. I really love the combination of like a sweet date and the salty kind of taste of leben, which is similar to buttermilk. Also sambusa: it's kind of similar to empanadas but it has on the inside ground beef, parsley and boiled eggs, and then it's all fried. It's a different food than we usually eat every day throughout the year."

A time for celebration: "Also I really love the Eid, which is the celebration after Ramadan ends, and I really try to take the most of it and celebrate as much as I can because Prophet Mohammad says that we have to embrace this celebration, because it's from Allah.”