My Ramadan Diary: A 23-Year-Old Fasting For The First Time

Growing up in a relaxed Muslim household, I never felt guilty for my ambiguous relationship with Islam. My mum only started practising when she was 25 and my parents never pressured me into it. Religion was the last thing on my mind when I moved to England from Uzbekistan at the age of 10. I was more worried about the culture shock and not having any friends. I pressed pause on faith, only that pause ended up lasting 13 years.
I’m 23 now, living in London and working as a journalist. My motivation behind doing Ramadan? Mental health. It began as a way to prove to myself that my mind is stronger than I think. I wanted to commit to something and make that my priority. Fasting for 16 hours a day, for 30 days straight, is not easy. But with that comes clarity of thought, mindfulness about everyday decisions, and a bigger picture of life. It's a reminder that while I starve for 16 hours, there are people who are starving without a banquet waiting for them at the end. It's humbling.
Here we go...

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