My mom had a rule when I was a kid during the holy
Muslim month of Ramadan:
There is no whining during fasting.
you're hungry, she'd say, suck it up. If you're thirsty,
That, of course, is easier said than done.
But my mom would say that Ramadan
is a time to sacrifice, to reflect, to focus on your
faith and forgo all things trivial.
It's also a perfect time for good journalism on the
subject, seeing as Ramadan started this
Here are some quick ideas:
Shadow kids who are observing their first Ramadan
this year. See how they survive, how they
negotiate the daunting school lunchroom, how hard it
is to wake up for the pre-dawn breakfast. This is a
huge I'm-a-grownup moment for any Muslim youth and
would make for a compelling story.
Muslims break fast at sunset each day with a
daily feast of traditional ethnic food called the
iftar meal. Some families go overboard with the meal,
turning Ramadan into a month-long Thanksgiving,
inviting family and friends. The scene makes for great
For a business reporter: Do workplaces with high
numbers of Muslims accommodate for Ramadan? I'm not
sure how my dad, who worked in a factory for nearly 30
years, didn't faint from dehydration, especially in
the heat. He felt weak during the day, and I'm sure
more breaks could have helped him.
a good resource for learning more about Ramadan. If
there are Muslims in your newsroom, lean on them. Or, if
you really want to write an intimate Ramadan story,
fast yourself and write a first-person account about the
I did my first fast at 5 and have been...