Daily life during Ramadan

By: Mohamed Ahmed

Hello this is an article about my experiences in Ramadan and what I do every year. This is not an article about Ramadan, explaining what you could do, it is more of an experience article.  

Starting off, I have reached the age where it is mandatory to fast. That age differs per person but when you reach 14 years and 8 months of age you must start to fast. I will be starting earlier than that though. 

When I was younger, I would see my parents, cousins, and older siblings all fast. The effect this had on me was that I wanted to fast as well. So, when I started fasting I only did a half day, like 7 or so hours, then I would break my fast. 

When I was in fifth grade I would fast the whole day and the whole month. 

In the morning, typically from 3AM to 5AM, I would wake up and eat until prayer. After doing so, I would return to sleep but some people go to the Mosque to pray and there is a quote from the Prophet saying the time after morning prayer is a great time to read the Quran. 

When I wake up for the second time, I would go to school and then go to work. 

The no water, or eating, continues until the sun sets, then you can break your fast. At the table there is normally too much food and a lot of cultural delicacies. 

After this, there is another prayer that is one of the five mandatory prayers, but after this, there is an optional but highly recommended prayer. This prayer goes on until 12:30AM, or so, then everyone returns home. 

In the last ten days (the day is random), there is an opportunity for complete repentance, but this is if after sundown you participate in all the prayers beforehand and leave after the following sunset.

Pfizer vaccine for kids

By: Alexandra Rimbu

On Monday, May 10th, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) made the critical decision to expand the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12-15, making it the first vaccine in the U.S. authorized for this age group. Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized only for persons ages 16 and up. The two other COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are still only authorized for persons ages 18 and up.

The authorization of this vaccine came after the FDA’s review of a clinical trial, conducted by Pfizer, involving 2,260 12-to-15-year-olds, which showed the vaccine’s efficacy to be 100%.

The FDA also took into consideration the immune response of these persons aged 12-15 in comparison to the immune response of persons ages 16 and above who were vaccinated as well. Results yielded that the response to the vaccine was good, and, in fact, the younger age group (12-15 years old) had better responses than those in the older age group.

With the vaccine authorized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and its Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, met on Wednesday, May 12th, to advise the CDC on whether to recommend use of the vaccine in this age group. CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, decided the agency will recommend the vaccine’s use in the new group.

Following this recommendation, the Biden administration quickly mobilized to get vaccinations ready for 12-15 year olds through the federal pharmacy program, pediatricians, and family doctors. 

However, states make the decisions on who gives the vaccine and when, so there is no fixed date on which 12-15 year olds may begin to be vaccinated. As of now though, state licensing boards are discussing the distribution of the vaccine, and hopefully soon, the vaccine will be approved to be distributed throughout the whole state, a decision which will strive towards the eradication of COVID-19.

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Benefits of learning a new instrument

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

Reduces Stress 

Music itself is known to be a great stress reliever! And according to San Antonio Music Schools, music helps reduce our blood pressure and our heart rate; it also releases happy hormones which helps us feel more relaxed. 

Improves Memory 

When you learn all the different aspects that come with your specific instrument, you’re giving your brain a workout which helps improve your ability to remember things.  

Enhances Patience

Patience is a very important skill to have. It helps us stay relaxed and ultimately leads us to enjoy life a little more. While learning a new instrument, you must make use of that patience through continuous practice and pushing through despite making mistakes. When trying to play new pieces of music, you’ll be learning how to take things slow which you can then use in other areas of your life. 

Improves the Immune Response 

Making music strengthens the immune response, which allows us to fight diseases, as shown in a ‘Live Science/ article! 

Boosts Confidence 

Learning a new instrument shows you that you’re capable of learning new things. With practice, you’ll be able to see your improvement as a player which helps boost your confidence and that confidence boost can slip into other aspects of your life. You can also try to play in front of some friends/family or others in order to feel more confident speaking/performing in front of a group of people. 

Improves Coordination 

With any instrument you play, you will most likely use two or more parts of your body in order to be able to play it correctly. Your mind is also used as it tries to be aware of whether or not you’re playing the right notes. This all comes to play with coordination; practicing all the different movements with your instrument will improve your ability to coordinate. 

Enhances Focus 

In order to learn a new instrument, you must be able to focus. Concentrating on everything you need to work on and your practice sessions makes the brain work on its ability to concentrate which enhances your entire ability to focus. 

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