University of Miami Raises Funds for Disaster Response as Part of National Ramadan Fast-A-Thon

October 18, 2005

Source: The Miami Herald

On October 18, 2005 The Miami Herald reported, "Just before the sun rose Monday, Amy Cohen chomped on some gummy worms, knowing it would be her last meal for 14 hours. 'You're restraining yourself for a good cause,' she told herself as the sun grew strong.

Cohen, 21, a senior at the University of Miami, joined some 400 other non-Muslim students in refusing food for a day as part of 'Fast-a-Thon,' a fund- and awareness-raising Ramadan event.

The UM 'Fast-a-Thon' raised $4,000, which will go to help victims of Hurricane Katrina and last week's South Asian earthquake. It was one of hundreds of similar events taking place on college campuses during this, the holiest month of Islam.

The UM event this year raised double the money and drew three times the fasters it has since it was begun by the campus Islamic Society in 2001, to promote interfaith understanding.

Non-Muslim fasters -- including students, faculty and administration staff -- sign on to go one day without eating to gain a firsthand understanding of the spiritual cleansing and sympathy for the poor that the daily fast is meant to inspire."