To keep up the spirit of Ramadan online during these unprecedented times, the YES alumni in Jordan hosted a virtual Ramadan gathering that was open to YES alumni worldwide. This way, the YES alumni could learn about Ramadan traditions in other cultures. On April 30, 20 YES alumni from Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, and the West Bank participated in this event. Everyone enjoyed hearing about how Ramadan is celebrated in different parts of the world and discovering the similarities and differences in these rituals.
YES alumni from each country gave five to ten-minute presentations about Ramadan traditions in their cultures. After each presentation, there was time for questions and comments. YES alumna Aya Abu Zaid from Jordan said, “I really enjoyed the event. I loved learning about how people from other cultures celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. The event was very informative and genuinely fun. The presenters did a great job of giving us an idea of what Ramadan is like for them and what it means to them. Plus, we were introduced to so many different types of food, which made me want to celebrate Ramadan everywhere so I can taste these dishes!” Two of the YES alumni’s host mothers and two other friends from the United States also attended these sessions to show their support.
Zain Shehadeh, the president of Jordan’s YES Alumni Network shared, “In the difficult times that the world has been facing, the alumni board members wanted to find a way to unite the YES alumni worldwide. Since international YES events have been put on hold, we decided to have one virtually. Ramadan was a perfect opportunity for the alumni to discuss how they celebrate Ramadan in their countries and bond over these special traditions. It was important for us to create this event as we found it to be a very educational and special experience for everyone involved.”
Read about another virtual Ramadan gathering in Kuwait here.
Zain Shehadeh (YES 2013–2014, Jordan, placed with AFS in Shenandoah, IA)
Aya Abu Zaid (YES 2018–2019, Jordan, placed with PAX in Lacey, WA)