By Motasem Al-Ali (YES 2020–2021, Jordan, virtually placed with Ayusa in Glendale, AZ)
The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting and the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between dawn and sunset — this is called fasting. The tradition of fasting is essential during Ramadan as it provides Muslims time to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah, or God. Ramadan is also a period for reflection, prayer, good deeds, and time with friends and family. Therefore, the best project to do during this holy month is to help feed people.
Two of my friends and I decided to start a project where we provide date fruits and water for people waiting at the traffic light. Typically, these people are fasting and leaving work late. Their homes are also probably far away, and the market is closed by the time they arrive. That’s why we decided to help these tired drivers break their fast with simple treats. The primary purpose of this community service is to get closer to God, but it is also a way to do almsgiving for the souls of my father and grandfather who passed away several years ago. While implementing this project, I felt the true meaning of giving.
When giving these thirsty people cold cups of water and dates, their smiling faces and appreciation in return make me feel like I just gave them the whole world. There was another man with his child who was doing a similar project, but they had more water and dates to distribute. So, he asked us to come and help him share his supplies throughout the rest of Ramadan. Now my friends and I pass out water and dates three times a week.
I had this idea for Ramadan in my head, and I planned to do it this year. Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) helped me push myself to do volunteer work and gave me the spirit to do it. Posting about GYSD on my social media accounts motivated some people even outside my program to participate, including two of my hometown friends. I find this a great idea to share work and love in every place. As YES program students, we must brighten our cities with the knowledge that we learned from this program and its activities.
Read about another Ramadan community service project in Jordan here.