April 1 to May 1, 2022, marks Ramadan. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. During Ramadan, Muslims engage in fasting from dawn until dusk, and it is a time for fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
In honor of Ramadan, we are highlighting Children’s Minnesota kid experts who are also members of our Muslim Employee Resource Group (MERG) to learn more about their experiences and the significance of Ramadan. We’re excited to introduce you to Hamdi Sahal, senior administrative assistant for the clinical ethics department.
Get to know Hamdi!
What is your role at Children’s Minnesota and what inspired you to want to work here?
I am a senior administrative assistant for the clinical ethics department, as well as the chair for the Muslim Employee Resource Group (MERG). My desire to work for a children’s hospital stems from the fact that this is where my children have received care since they were born.
I am also passionate about community advocacy and want to ensure that all of our community members receive the best possible care.
Do you have a favorite memory at Children’s Minnesota?
When I was working at general pediatrics, a father and his child approached me in the clinic. The father was perplexed because he didn’t speak English. After speaking with him, I discovered that he was in the wrong clinic. I was able to contact the other clinic, reschedule his appointment for an hour later and arrange transportation for them. He was overjoyed and it brightened my day. He was still thankful when I met him a year later!
What inspired you to join the MERG?
I was motivated to join the MERG because I want to help close the gap. The mission of the MERG involves many aspects, and we want to create a welcoming, inclusive and affirming environment where employees who share a similar background can build relationships, support each other and enrich the overall workplace at Children’s Minnesota.
What does Ramadan mean to you?
Ramadan is a month of mercy to me. It is the ninth and holiest month on the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to dusk. There are many reasons why we do this:
- Fasting is an act of worship, and it’s one of the pillars of our faith and a way to show our devotion to God. It strengthens our relationship with God and reminds us of what we are grateful for.
- Fasting is a way to practice patience. It allows us to break unhealthy habits and form healthier ones. Ramadan is a month of spiritual and personal growth, and cleansing.
- Outside of fasting, Ramadan is a month where Muslims are encouraged to volunteer, give to charity and help those less fortunate. We are encouraged to learn, grow and improve ourselves and our community.
Ramadan is an incredibly rewarding month that Muslims look forward to year-round.
How are you celebrating Ramadan this year?
I intend to spend Ramadan with my family surrounded by lots of laughter and feast. I also intend to help the less fortunate and be a better member of society.