Your Voice: Why I chose to fast over Ramadan
As a non-Muslim, the reason I chose to fast over the Holy Month can be summed up in a single word.
It's the obvious question when someone hears that a non-Muslim would fast during Ramadan.
Why put up with the hunger?
Why deprive yourself of food and drink all day?
Why endure the accompanying fatigue?
These are all worthy questions. I'm sure they will seem even more valid as the month continues and the physical symptoms, especially the fatigue, will grow at times.
For me, though, the answer to the question of why undertake such a task can be summed up in a single word: empathy.
I do not claim to intimately know the finer details of Ramadan or the deep religious and cultural aspects that nearly 2 billion people embrace and practice every year.
But having lived in the Kingdom more than a decade, I do work with tens of thousands of fellow Aramcons and count among them some of my closest friends and colleagues.
To them, Ramadan is more than mere self abnegation. It is a time of purification, of dedication, of coming together as a family, of giving.
For me, it was simply a chance to be more compassionate and empathetic for my colleagues who voluntarily endure physical hardship in an effort to be better people while still fulfilling their daily tasks in the work place.