Ramadan Email | Emails at Work

I started in my current role as the teacher-librarian at our school a couple of years ago. To get information out, I have to send broadcast emails to all of the staff, and I try to make them interesting to read. The email I sent earlier this week has gotten a lot of positive feedback. A few people have told me that reading my emails makes them smile. Hearing this makes me feel good.

This got me thinking about this blog and why I don’t — or can’t — write in the same way. Or, maybe I do but the audience and content are different. It might be that my writing style is better suited to writing emails than blog posts. I’m a little dismayed with this notion.

At work, I have a captive audience, a targeted message, and a report with the people I work with. This blog is open to anyone with an internet connection if they can find it. Advertising a post on Instagram only lets people know that one is published but they don’t need to read it.

I’ve always been more than a little wayward with the content on this blog. It’s been more a repository than a curated collection. My half-hearted attempts at giving this space some direction have all failed. These days, I’m trying not to fight for something more clearly defined and allowing myself to just accept it for what it is.

One of my colleagues replied to my latest email, telling me that I should do something with my writing. I told him that I’ve tried. Here is the latest email that I sent out, edited for a wider audience.

Date: Tue, Mar 21, 2023 at 2:41 PM
Subject: Prayer Space for Ramadan

Good afternoon everybody!

After graduating from university, I started driving senior citizens to and from mosque on a bus. My Katchi isn’t very good and their English was only slightly better. We’d communicate using a broken pidgin language that developed slowly over the years. During the ride, they would catch up on the day’s news, gossip around the community, and the latest from Bollywood. If I caught them trying to catch my attention, I could see them laughing at me when I looked back at them inquiringly through the rearview mirror. I can still hear the cackle of the most boisterous among them.

I’d pick them up at their houses, drop them off at mosque, and then go grab a coffee. I’d try to make it back soon after the prayer ceremonies ended but I was always late. Some enjoyed the time to socialize and others scolded me; I was once told that I’d be late to my own funeral. These days, I only have to check students’ names off a list as they board a school bus to go home. We communicate about as well as I did with those seniors.

Some fifteen hundred years ago, in 610 C.E. the Angel Gabriel spoke to Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). The month of Ramadan commemorates the night of his first revelation, which was that the Prophet (peace be upon him) should read. He couldn’t read and told Angel Gabriel this. By the will of God, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was granted the ability to read. The revelations that followed would become the Quran. (The Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t write it. No papyrus perhaps.)

Ramadan begins tomorrow with the sighting of the new moon. It’s an important time for reflection, prayer, and fasting for Muslims around the world. It ends with Eid al-Fitr, a celebration to begin a return to routine. During this month, Muslims are meant to fast, abstaining from food, drink, and sin. It is a time to cleanse the soul.

The Library Ambassadors have already cleaned out the back room of the library so that it can serve as a prayer space for the month. Please encourage your observant students to use the space for Dhuhr, the afternoon prayer. It occurs at 1:25 pm on the 23rd and gets earlier until 1:17 pm on April 21st. I will leave the room unlocked during that period of the afternoon so that students can access the space. There is a sink in the room for ablution before prayer.

Finally, today is Navroz, the beginning of a new year. While not a strictly Islamic celebration, many Muslim countries honour the holiday. To those who celebrate, I wish you Navroz Mubarak.

I’m just trying to make it on time for that final call.

Ramadan Mubarak,



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