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The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

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SJS families celebrate iftar

For+many+students+and+families%2C+the+iftar+symbolizes+community%2C+acceptance+of+Muslims+and+progress.+
Amina Zegar
For many students and families, the iftar symbolizes community, acceptance of Muslims and progress.

On March 28, Muslim students eagerly waited for the clock to turn to 7:37 p.m. as this would mark sundown. Eating, laughing and talking together, students participated in iftar, the meal in which Muslims break their fast.

The array of food presented at the iftar did not disappoint. From Cane’s chicken fingers to large sums of naan, there was plenty of food to go around. Over three cakes were eaten, including a cookie cake that spelled “Ramadan Mubarak Mavs” in bright icing. 

Held at the Gilani home and hosted by the Muslim Students Affinity Group, students ranged from members of the Upper School all the way down to the Lower School. While many participants were familiar faces, some were surprised to realize how many Muslim students there actually were at St. John’s. 

“Many of us did not even know each other, so I found it really important for us to introduce ourselves,” Sania Rahim-Gilani said. “It makes a world of difference to know that you have a community to support you.”

For many students and families, the iftar symbolizes community, acceptance of Muslims and progress. Rahim-Gilani reflected on how the knowledge surrounding Ramadan has changed.

“I grew up in Houston during a really Islamophobic time. People didn’t really claim to be Muslim,” Rahim-Gilani said.

Like Rahim-Gilani, Muslim students acknowledged how they feel that Ramadan is more accepted now than ever before. 

“In the past, I experienced snide comments while fasting,” freshman Elisha Hasan said. “This year I haven’t experienced anything hateful. People have been really supportive.”

While eating, students bonded over the intricacies of fasting. From discussing homework after iftar to participating in sports without water, talking about Ramadan at this iftar helped students feel a sense of belonging. After the success of this iftar, the MSAG hopes to continue this tradition into future Ramadans.

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About the Contributor
Amina Zegar, Staff Writer
Amina Khalil-Zegar ('27) joined The Review in 2023 as a freshman. When she isn't trying to catch her breath on the track, she enjoys writing and rewatching "Funny Girl" for the seventh time.

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