Greenhill Celebrates Ramadan

Mateo Lanzillotta and Andrew Mann

With many individuals around campus observing the Muslim holiday, Ramadan, Greenhill has worked to make special accommodations for those students and faculty members.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a sacred time for many Muslims. Those who observe Ramadan fast from sunrise to sunset get their nutrients in both the early morning and late night. In 2023, the holy month started on March 23 and will end with Eid-ul-Fitr, the Festival of Sweets, on Thursday, April 20.

During this time, Greenhill has adapted various things around campus in order to accommodate the needs of those observing this holiday.

Upper School biology teacher, Hennah Abubaker, is appreciative of what Greenhill has been able to do for her. Specifically, she says she enjoys the idea of having a space on campus dedicated to prayer available to her at all times, which is the prayer area in the Montgomery Library.

“My schedule is really flexible. Typically, I can schedule my prayer around that [class schedule],” Abubaker said.

This sentiment is shared by many of the students.

During an Upper School assembly, leaders of the Muslim Students Association spoke with the student body to discuss Ramadan and why it is important to their religion.

According to junior Aariz Mithani, students that observe Ramadan are grateful for the teacher’s consideration of the holiday.

Greenhill makes it so easy for students to celebrate and partake in Ramadan because of how understanding and supportive teachers and coaches are,” Mithani said.

In the library, the meditation breakout rooms have been filled each day by those who are fasting during lunch.

According to Abubaker, there are around 12 to 15 people that go each day, some who are fasting, and others who attend even though they are not Muslim. These students and faculty will go each day around 1:10 p.m. to play board games or just have a conversation.

In the future, Abubaker wishes that Greenhill would be more thoughtful with their planning and scheduling of events. This year, prom was scheduled to be during Eid-ul-Fitr; however, it was moved due to pushback from many affinity groups. The concern for Abubaker and others was that so many juniors and seniors that are observing the celebration would have to make a decision whether to be with their family or their friends.

“Last year, they had to deal with a similar situation,” Abubaker said. “Eid was scheduled around Homecoming, so kids have to make these decisions. For seniors, it’s like their prom, or do I want to go back and be with my family for the last Eid before I go off to college? That was really disheartening for most of the students.”

Typically, during the last ten days of Ramadan, those who observe will visit the mosque and pray until late hours. Greenhill will continue to offer opportunities for those who observe.

“While it might get tougher to balance my religion and school work in the next few days, based on the generosity of the teachers earlier in the month, I am sure that they will give help if needed,” said Mithani.