‘Fasting made me experience what the poor people were going through’

Last year was the first time 10-year-old Iraqi Saif Basel, grade 4 student at Victorian English School, tried fasting during Ramadan. “It was not easy because I was constantly feeling hungry and thirsty. I tried to sleep so I wouldn’t get super hungry, and at that time I did not have school.

“The reason why I wanted to start fasting is because I always saw my parents fasting and I wanted to experience this with them. I asked them if I could try it for one day and then I continued it for the whole month.

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“God wants us to fast so we can feel for the homeless and underprivileged. Fasting made me experience what the poor people were going through and how thirsty and hungry they feel all the time, not just for a part of the day. It also taught me self-discipline and patience.

“The most enjoyable part for me during Ramadan is the Iraqi sweets my mum makes. I remember there was a point when I felt so hungry and couldn’t make it through the whole day and had to eat biscuits, but on the rest of the days I tried to control.

“This year I’m ready to do my fasting again and I hope I won’t have to break it even once. The only challenge is that Ramadan has come while we still have school and this makes it difficult to focus and think, and then when you go out to play, you feel so thirsty after that, but I will do my best.”