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Omani students video educates about Ramadan fast

Muscat: A group of Omani students studying abroad conducted a social experiment to introduce Ramadan fasting to non-Muslims in the United States.

They created a YouTube video entitled,“I am fasting ask me why?” which was released on June 3.

It features three Omani students asking students at the University of South Florida (USF) about whether they know if Muslims fast or not.

In the eight-minute clip, the boys from the Omani Association at USF appear wearing white shirts with the text “I am fasting ask me why?” written on them to get people’s attention. The idea was brought up by a member of the association, ahead of Ramadan.

The video, which took four days to make, shows three Omanis walking around the university’s campus, asking people “Why do you think Muslims around the world fast in the Holy Month of Ramadan?”

The response to Omani students queries was overwhelming as they shared a lot of knowledge about fasting. “It humbles you when you are not feeding your mouth,” an elderly American said, “In the Bible, when you have deep needs, you are asked to pray and fast.”

“Fasting and prayer go together. It’s something that Muslims and Christians share,” he added.

Another woman said, “I am under the impression that in addition to fasting you—Muslims—undertake prayers and that it is a period of reflection.

Another student was in shock, “Oh my gosh, you know how hard that would be for me!”

A student explained that even other cultures had adopted the same concept.

“In Hinduism, we fast for one day in the year,” she said.

At the end of the video, an Omani student said religion is a subject that is avoided by a lot of people, “because it raises a lot of controversy and a lot of people don’t want to get into debates and conversations that have a lot of controversy.”

Interestingly, the YouTubers told the Times of Oman that they are planning to film another social experiment next September about asking people about their knowledge of Oman, and the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). “We want to inform people here about our beloved country, Oman, especially given that many here are unaware about Oman,” Hamdan Al Fahdi, a member of the association said.