Ono Presents Workshop on the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan

In honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Ono Academic College’s Haifa Campus offered two workshops to provide its staff and students greater insight into this important holiday.  Organized by Miki Karu, Director of the Haifa Campus, and Dr. Naama Katz, the Assistant Dean of Students, in charge of Ono’s Haifa Campus, the workshop featured a lecture and slide show presentation given by Ms. May Arow, the Director of Language Programs at the Abraham Initiatives organization.

The presentation opened with an overview of the demographic breakdown of Arabic speakers in the State of Israel’. Ms. Arow explained the 5 pillars of the Islamic religion (confession of faith, prayer, charity, fasting during Ramadan and pilgrimage to Mecca). 

Regarding Ramadan, Ms. Arow provided insight into the nature of the holiday and how it is celebrated.  Citing personal stories, she brought the holiday to life, noting:

  • How beloved the holiday is to those who fast and even to those who do not
  • The importance of the family meals (iftar) following each day’s fast
  • Unique and delicious dishes served during the post-fast meal (like sweet filled Knafeh pastry)
  • Special prayers recited during the holiday
  • Mini-series and other television programs created (sometimes in 30 episodes) to be shown each Ramadan evening
  • The focus on not just fasting from food and drink but also from unhealthy behavior such as gossip.
  • The ability, if one is unable to fast, to instead feed a poor person by giving charity (the equivalent of about 30 Shekels these days)

Ms. Arow manages language training at the Abraham Initiatives, using Arabic as a cultural bridge. Previously, she worked as a teacher of Hebrew and Arabic as a second language, trained language teachers and developed curricula for teaching the spoken language. In workshops such as the one she presented at ono, Ms. Arow uses issues of language and multicultural society in order to encourage dialogues between equals.

رمضان كريم

Ramadan Karim!