When this Ramadan began I had a thought in my head that said "be more transparent with your journey this year".
Typically, I like to spend my Ramadan far away from things like social media, crowds of people, and public consumption. However, this year that little thought told me to share my experience. I'll be honest, at first I didn't feel comfortable doing so. Ramadan is a hard reset for me where I can shut everything down and realign myself with not only my faith, but also my purposes, dreams, and goals.
When I shared the first video, I was nervous even pressing submit. I thought, "I'll just share it on Facebook instead of putting it across all social media." But once I started seeing the responses from people who are both Muslim and non Muslim about how they found insight and inspiration in it, I quickly knew that it was the right thing to do.
As you can see if you followed the VLOG, my Ramadan was full for family, Samiya, prayer, food, more food, exercise, fellowship, work, and things that are in my day to day life. This Ramadan I spent more time than I usually do with friends and family that I grew up with. Rather than looking for opportunities to stage things to film, I just lived in the moments naturally and at times had to remind myself to turn the camera on. But I am so glad that I did.
I am most proud that this video will live for generations to come. For my kids to see how I participate in Ramadan. For my friends and non muslim relatives to have a good view of what it means to not just me, but other muslims whose paths cross with mine. And lastly, for myself to look back on and analyze it as I move forward in life trying to hold on to the things that this Ramadan instilled in me.
I started taking this selfie in 2014 right before Eid prayer, which is the prayer at the end of Ramadan. With these selfies I just wanted to have something to look back on and connect to the growth that each Ramadan has given me. I hope that all of this will not only continue to make me a better person but I pray it also finds a way to continue to enlighten and inspire others that have access to it.
It's a struggle sometimes to accept being a public figure. You don't want to share everything with the world and know that you have to reserve somethings for yourself. So, this VLOG was difficult for me. But in the end I am proud of what it became.