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    Observing Ramadan at Sea

    Ike Conducts Operations in the Arabian Sea

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Dean Cates | Personnel Specialist 1st Class Cabirou Chitou, left, and Logistics Specialist Seaman...... read more read more

    With religions, there are lengthy observances that practitioners take part in. For Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) being deployed presents additional challenges with religious observances, due to workflow and space limitations.

    For Logistics Specialist Seaman Osama Mohammad, a practitioner of Islam, one of his faith’s major observances, Ramadan, is set to begin right in the middle of Ike’s deployment.

    “Ramadan is the month that the Quran was revealed to Mohammad,” explained Mohammad. “We fast for 30 days, from sunrise to sunset, going about our regular daily prayers. After our evening prayer, Isha, our congregation lines up and we say additional prayers.”

    Along with the daily fasting, Muslims also become more active in the community, helping those that are less fortunate and engage more with their families.

    For Operations Specialist 3rd Class Ahmet Zamir, another Muslim Sailor aboard Ike, one of his biggest challenges observing Ramadan out to sea is the absence of his family.

    “The long hours at work is also challenging, and when it comes time to break my fast, I’m usually sitting at my console,” Zamir said.
    Some major differences observing Ramadan out to sea are based on the Sailors’ work schedules.

    “We’re constantly working except for holiday routine,” said Mohammad. “But it’s also difficult because I can’t do the additional prayers by myself because I don’t have enough of the Quran memorized.”
    Ike’s religious ministries department set forth to accommodate Mohammad and other Muslim Sailors not just for the observance of Ramadan, but for their normal daily prayers as well.

    “We want to make sure they are taken care of in regards to anything they want or need for the practice of Ramadan,” said Lt. Ken Bomberger, the chaplain for Carrier Airwing (CVW) 3. “We absolutely want them to be able to exercise the practice of free religion because this has been something that has been a staple in America since the bill of rights.”

    Mohammad’s chain of command also took steps to help accommodate his prayer schedule during and outside of Ramadan.

    “Whenever I have Friday service, they let me attend and they respect all my prayer times throughout the day,” Mohammad explained. “They even wanted to lessen my load and try to help me by letting me work nights so I can observe the fasting.”

    Bomberger also noted that one of the biggest differences between practicing any religion out to sea is the absence of family during such major observances, while adjusting to longer working hours and dynamic watch schedules can be difficult too.

    “Our faith grounds us,” Bomberger explained. “Not only in how we were raised or how we choose to be, but it also gives us a moral compass to guide ourselves and help to assist in guiding others.”



    Date Taken: 04.27.2020
    Date Posted: 05.25.2020 04:17
    Story ID: 370712
    Location: ARABIAN SEA

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