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From a host’s view: The Holy Month of Ramadan

September 18, 2009

Lisa Killinger is the host mom of Aisha Hajj of Zanzibar, Tanzania. They live in Davenport, Iowa, and Aisha attends Davenport Central High School.

The Killinger family and their exchange student Aisha are practicing Muslims, so Lisa can offer a perspective different than most host families. In this post, she discusses Ramadan – the holy month of fasting – and Eid – or “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast,” the holiday which marks the end of Ramadan.

Chicago adventure

Over Labor Day weekend, Aisha’s best friend from back home, Muna, and her host family came by Davenport and picked Aisha up for an adventure to Chicago! The girls had a blast!

Aisha visits Millenium Park in Chicago

Aisha visits Millenium Park in Chicago

They went to the Brookfield Zoo, Sears Tower and Millennium Park with Muna’s host family from Ogden, Iowa. It was a tearful goodbye when the girls had to leave each other at the end of the weekend.

Coming to the end of the holy month

Ramadan has been going well. Aisha and a student named Alya from another YES program, who lives near us have been attending the fast-breaking meals at the mosques here in town.

During the day, we shop. Alya has a great Eid (holiday) outfit picked out, and Aisha still has a little more shopping to do to find just the right thing for such a happy occasion.

Congratulations to all the Muslim IRIS students who have nearly completed Ramadan, the month of fasting. It is a great accomplishment, and it has been fun to attend so many dinners with the other Muslims in Iowa. Sunday, Eid, will be bittersweet, as we celebrate the end of fasting, but we also say goodbye to the weekly festivities and seeing our friends at events throughout the month.

Up next: volunteering for the needy

On October 4th, Aisha and some other YES program students in our area will be participating in the CROP WALK for Hunger. This event raises money for the poor and hungry in our local communities and also sends money oversees to fight hunger in other countries.

This is the first time that a Muslim team will be participating in the CROP WALK Quad Cities. We are excited about this act of charity and community involvement of our YES students.

If anyone would like to contribute to our team’s Crop Walk, you can go online to the, find the Iowa walks and locate Davenport (Scott County). Any amount of donation will help those who are hungry. Charity shouldn’t end with Ramadan.

Talk to you all later!

Lisa Killinger, host mom of Aisha Haji

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