March 18 2015…
I noticed this video by @ShareRamadan
I reflected and thought, what a wonderful idea.
So on June 19 2015- I tweeted…
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) June 19, 2015
I believe the amazing Stephen Tierney was the first to respond with telling me he will share ramadan with me.
I wrote a blog on the old platform StaffRM inviting my Twitter ‘friends/ colleagues/ acquaintances’ to join me for a day of fasting. A few people responded and wanted to participate. I was blown away by the response.
(A special shout out to Lisa here who once celebrated the entire month with us, I was fortunate enough to open a fast together with her too.)
In real life we have always had ‘cultural’ Iftars where lots of people of different faiths came together to open our fasts together! We made it a big deal. It is a big deal. If it wasn’t lock down, I would have hosted a BIG IFTAR together. Watch this space for next year!
Move forward 5 years later and today I am hosting BIG #ShareRamadan, where instead of people picking a day across the 30 days, I designated today, Saturday 9th May for everybody to join in together for a day of fasting and reflection.
I asked lots of fellow Muslims from my Personal Learning Network to ‘help’ by tweeting, sharing and getting involved. There was a fantastic response! The hashtag was trending almost the entire day.
THREAD I’m planning a big #ShareRamadan– the idea is you share a fast with me/others fasting. You wake up at Sehri, you eat/drink & then close your fast. You don’t eat or drink the whole day, while tweeting how your day is going& then open your fast, iftar in the evening…
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) May 3, 2020
Then I reflected on this ‘idea’ and how much I have been going ‘on’ about it.
So I did some digging.
I wrote a blog May 25 2017 – United We Are Stronger.
I wrote this for @SchoolsWeek in 2018 too- about how schools can help students during Ramadan.
— Schools Week (@SchoolsWeek) May 14, 2018
I have written threads about what teachers can do for their students. Which has no doubt sparked many conversations between people!
I have encouraged people to say Ramadan Mubarak/Kareem for example to their colleagues and students.
All because, nobody did this for me when I was a student, nobody knew how difficult it was to keep playing for the school footy/cricket and rugby team whilst fasting. Literally, nobody but my other fellow Muslims. I thought thats just the way it is.
I want to help change that for others…
THREAD: Aimed at helping colleagues who have students fasting/wanting to fast- For both Primary and Secondary Colleagues…
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) May 17, 2018
Hi all, if you are wondering why some Muslims are celebrating Eid today and some like me are following it tmrw, to put it simply, some follow the lead of Saudi Arabia. And some follow the sighting of the moon in their nearest Islamic Country. This is why it differs at times.
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) June 4, 2019
With this in my mind I have shared ready made Assemblies for colleagues to use to explain what Ramadan is with their colleagues and students.
Click here for yours if you like!
I have encouraged others to share their faiths with the world, and allow me to learn about their faiths too. This is not just about *MY* faith!
Why is it important for people to know about (my) faith, to understand what we do?
It all spans back to September 11 2001 when effectively everything about my existence changed for me, with people, in the media and in the workforce.
I have long been an advocate of showing us ‘Muslims in a good light!’ But I will NEVER apologise for some ‘Muslims’ bad actions and bad deeds. I don’t own the Muslim faith. Nobody does.
Let ME be that person you know, that is a Muslim, that isn’t a terrorist & believes in love, tolerance & acceptance. Say you know me.
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) November 14, 2015
I wrote this blog explaining the above tweet then too. I was blown away by the response I got by people. I cried that evening.
So why today, why am I still going on about this?
Essentially, because a shared view on things helps:
- You grow– it helps me grow too, I have connected with more fellow Muslims, I have followed me, I have talked to more, I miss this interaction in my life at times.
- Stay motivated– The joint solidarity makes the struggle of Ramadan easier.
- Gain recognition– People understand how difficult it really is!
- Generates new ideas- How to overcome some things and cook others etc!
- Fills gaps in knowledge– This is vital for me, lots of opinions can help diversify our thoughts!
- Builds teams- faith or not, we are one human race.
- Reminds us of our purpose. Simple.
One of the biggest, best things about all of this time and energy going in to these blogs, tweets etc is that more and more Muslims are becoming more and more confident in sharing their faith and their messages to others.
Also, NEVER have I witnessed or others experienced so many non- Muslims saying, tweeting and expressing Ramadan Mubarak to us before.
This is changing the current narrative, and re-writing history.
Directly after my Ramadan Mubarak post …I lost over 100 followers – see ya 👋🏾
I do not care about the number of followers I have…I care only about the quality.
I will not stop posting about different cultures, religions, backgrounds, genders, inequality and inequity.
— HalilMrT (@HalilMrT1) May 5, 2020
Total brag; but I’m convinced that people have become more comfortable sharing their Islamic faith because of some of my Tweets about Ramadan, Eid etc. Even if not true, it makes me feel good.
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) April 25, 2020
I hope you have found BIG #SHARERamadan useful and you can spread kindness further and challenge when and if anybody bad mouths Islam or Muslims by saying, you know me, you know US.
Ok BIG #SHARERAMADAN CREW now the food tweets are done, let’s concentrate on what fasting is about;
Personally, it’s about placing yourselves in the positions of others less fortunate where eating/drinking isn’t a simple option.
It’s about restraint….
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) May 9, 2020
If you have SHARED Ramadan with me or colleagues before or part of BIG #SHARERamadan today please can you write a quote about what you have learnt, what this means to you and how you will take this forward in the Padlet below.
Just double click anywhere, it will save automatically!
We have another BIG #SHARERamadan being planned for Saturday 16th of May- Click here for more details!