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Freshman Hamza Siddeek

Freshman Hamza Siddeek has been observing Ramadan every year with his family since he was a kid. Siddeek began fasting when he was in elementary school, and he always helps his family prepare and decorate for Ramadan. Every year, Siddeek and his family hang lanterns in their home. “We don’t have any unique traditions,” he said. “We’re pretty standard. But we put up lanterns, which not every family does.”

Before COVID-19, Siddeek and his family would often visit friends to have iftar, a meal held to break the day’s fast after sundown. “We had special dishes for iftar, like samosas and salads,” he said. At the end of Ramadan, Siddeek celebrates Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of the month-long fast, with his family. Ramadan is very special to Siddeek because of its religious importance. “[Ramadan] is when God sent down his Holy Book, which is a significant event,” he said. “It’s also a time to do good deeds. It’s good to take advantage of that time and use it as an opportunity to improve.”

After Ramadan, Siddeek tries his best to grow as a person. “I have more self-control in staying away from food and other things,” he said. “My mentality also improves, and I am able to become more patient.”

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