For a month last year, Jordan Pahl, 16 at the time, awoke each day before sunrise. She dragged herself out of bed at 4 a.m., trudged down the stairs and grabbed an apple or yogurt out of the refrigerator. It was to be her last bit of sustenance before nightfall.
But Jordan isn’t Muslim; she’s Catholic. She chose to fast with her Muslim friend, Dahlia Bazzaz. This monthlong sacrifice wasn’t just a heavy mental and physical challenge — it was also a time in which Jordan’s global perspective expanded.
According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, about 2.6 million U.S. residents (in Oregon, less than 0.5 percent of residents) practice Islam, and many of them are spending August fasting. Jordan wanted to better understand how the experience affects Dahlia and all Muslims, and she’s fasting again this year for Ramadan, which began Monday.