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Release: Nov. 20, 2001

Ramadan Awareness Week is Nov. 25-Dec.1 at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The community will have an opportunity to learn more about Islam during the UI Ramadan Awareness Week Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, organized by the UI Association of Muslims. During this week, a series of educational events are slated, all of which are free and open to the general public. The week begins with a Mosque Open House Sunday, Nov. 25 from 1:30-4 p.m. at the Iowa City Mosque, 114 East Prentiss Street, Iowa City.

On Nov. 16 an estimated six million American Muslims joined more than one billion Muslims worldwide to begin a month-long fast during Ramadan. Ramadan is marked by the Islamic lunar calendar, where for a month Muslims abstain from food, drinks and other sensual pleasures from the break of dawn until sunset. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, the second largest religion in America.

Muslims fast to learn self-discipline, compassion, a sense of self-purification and a renewed focus on spirituality, said Asma Haidri, UI Association of Muslims representative.

Haidri says it is even more important now than ever before to have a better understanding of the Islamic faith after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“A lot of people fail to realize that Islam is a peaceful religion; the word Islam itself comes from the word peace,” Haidri says. “Often people look to a few fanatics to understand Islam when they should be understanding Islam first, and then seeing who actually is representing it.”

The end of Ramadan is marked by communal prayers called "Eid ul-Fitr," or Fast-Breaking.

Ramadan Awareness Week and food drive are co-sponsored by the General Union of Palestinian Students, Iowa International Socialist Organization, Iowans for Peace, Iowans for Peace with Iraq, Malaysian Students Association, Office of International Students and Scholars, International Programs, Pakistani Students Association, UI Student Government, and others. The food drive is also co-sponsored by the Hillel Jewish Student Center.

For more information, call (319) 400-0466 or email

Following is a schedule of events:

Ongoing events Nov. 25- Dec. 1
Wear a Ramadan Sticker
Non-Muslims can pick up a green ribbon and try fasting for the week
See the display in the IMU
Food Drive for the Crisis Center: Drop non-perishable food items in bins around campus or at the Iowa City or Cedar Rapids Mosque

Nov. 25, 1:30-4 p.m.
Mosque Open House
Iowa City Mosque, 114 East Prentiss Street

Nov. 26-30, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Information Table at the IMU
IMU Lower Level

Nov. 26-30, 4 p.m.
"Purification of the Heart"

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m.
Ramadan Q&A
Illinois Room, IMU

Friday, Nov. 30, 4:30 p.m.
Iftar (Fast Breaking) Bash
International Center Lounge
Food and drinks will be provided

Dec. 1-2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Children's Museum Ramadan Showcase
Children's Museum, Coral Ridge Mall