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 Dr. Razaan Byrne, pediatrician at Children’s Minnesota!
Get to know Dr. Razaan Byrne!
Tell us about your role at Children’s Minnesota and how long have you worked here.
I’ve been involved with Children’s Minnesota in some capacity since 2011, starting in medical school and continuing throughout residency. I have been a full-time clinician in the Minneapolis primary care clinic for almost five years. It was an easy decision to dedicate my career to pediatric and teen preventative health. Kids are resilient, cheerful, non-apologetic and honest. They can exhibit the best qualities of humanity, and it is a joy to work with them every day.
What is it like to be part of the Muslim Employee Resource Group?
As a part of the MERG, I work with an amazing group of Children’s Minnesota employees who are focused on enriching the working experience and patient/family experience of all members of the Children’s Minnesota community. For the past several years, MERG has created innovative experiences for employees and patient families to support and educate each other, celebrate Islamic holidays together, expand the cultural knowledge and experiences of the community, and celebrate our diversity. I am proud and humbled to work alongside my MERG colleagues to enhance our experience and impact at Children’s Minnesota.
Do you have a favorite memory from a MERG event?
My favorite memories from MERG events consistently come from our annual Iftar dinner during Ramadan. We are blessed to serve hundreds of Children’s Minnesota employees, patient families and community members with a meal at the time to break fast, called Iftar. One year, we were also thankful to invite and host Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, at our Iftar dinner. He broke fast with us and spoke to the Children’s Minnesota community about the importance of Ramadan. It was a very special event.
What does Ramadan mean to you?
To me and my family, Ramadan is a time to reflect upon self-improvement, community involvement and celebration with loved ones. I love to share my family’s Ramadan traditions with friends and family who are not Muslim or may not be as familiar with the customs, and join together as a community. As often as possible during the month of Ramadan, my extended family/friends and I will get together to break fast and enjoy each other’s company.
Eid al Fitr is on May 2, 2022. What is Eid al Fitr and how will you celebrate?
Eid al Fitr, the Islamic holiday that occurs the day after Ramadan ends, is a joyous day for Muslims. It is a celebration of the conclusion of Ramadan. Eid al Fitr celebrations typically include morning prayers at a Mosque, visits to family and friends, festivals, presents and lots of delicious food! My family’s personal tradition also includes taking our small children to the Mall of America to ride rollercoasters and play fun games with their extended family.