Angela Rosario is a local resident and a leader in her community. A graduate of our Career Development Institute and long-time staff member, she is an institution at IMAN. She recently shared a story that touched us so much, we thought it was worth sharing.
Angela is not Muslim but in a show of support, solidarity and unity with her coworkers, “my brothers and sisters,” she says, she decided to observe Ramadan this year. When our security gaurd, Bilaal, who’s been getting food from a local group of sisters each day and donating it to different families, mashaAllah, delivered several pans to Angela, she was overwhelmed by all the dishes. Not wanting to waste any food, she invited her neighbors to join in the meal.
For several nights, neighbors joined Angela at her home. When they asked, “What’s the occassion?” or “Why are you doing this?” Angela took the time to explain to them the meaning of Ramadan; the spirit of sacrifice, and connection to a higher spirituality. The neighbors even began waiting until iftar before they would partake of the foods.
Angela described this month as a time when her neighborhood was drawn together more than ever before. Mothers began to organize babysitting and day care for each other. Neighbors began watching over each other’s property and forming watch groups. And just this past weekend, they held their first block party in over 13 years. For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Ramadan has become a time for community.