Life of an Ethiopian Student at Glasgow: Wijdan Abdulkedir

Life+of+an+Ethiopian+Student+at+Glasgow%3A+Wijdan+Abdulkedir

By: Brooke Ehmann – Jones

May 10, 2021

Ramadan, an important Muslim holiday, has recently ended. Wijdan Abdulkedir is an 8th grade Ethiopian student at Glasgow who celebrates this huge Muslim holiday, like many others at Glasgow. Wijdan was born in Virginia but has visited Ethiopia two times. When talking about her time visiting family in Ethiopia she said, “What I like about it is everyone is close to you, you know everyone around you in your neighborhood because we are not usually like ‘oh, I don’t know this person,’ you kind of all know each other. Every time there is a new neighbor, everyone always comes to their house with welcome gifts and gets to know them, that’s one of the reasons everyone knows each other.” The last time she visited, she was there for the whole summer and explained that there were markets with carts where you buy food; no laundry machines; and most of the time you are playing outside with other kids. She loved the community there; it was like one big family.

Wijdan is attending school 100% virtual this year, and says she enjoys it overall. She thinks that there are benefits of being in-person that you don’t get virtually, “But it’s not bad.” She says. She does miss seeing her friends every day and being able to communicate efficiently with the teacher. Once she gets up in the morning she prays, joins class, and sometimes helps her mom with cooking during break time. In the evenings she attends another online school for her religion. She explained that at this school she memorizes the Islamic Holy book called the Qur’an, which helps her to understand her religion and learn it’s meaning. Wijdan celebrates Ramadan and Eid, and explained how she celebrates two Eid’s each year, the first after Ramadan, and the second during summer break, usually after they travel to Makkah, which is the holiest city in Islam. 

The pandemic has affected her home life as well. “Since I’m Muslim, usually during March, we fast for 30 days, called Ramadan. And after that, we have a celebration called Eid Al-Fitr. Usually, our Eid is just a day where you are around family and have fun, but last year since it was the beginning of Covid, we haven’t been able to see anyone, and we have to stay home.” She explained that after they broke their fast, they all used to pray taraweeh together afterwards, then spend the whole day with family. It is challenging to have big family gatherings with Covid, and Wijdan misses the big celebrations. 

Wijdan loves cooking, swimming, biking, having picnics with family, and reading. “I like to read books that are about other people’s lives, and how they had experiences, and how that changed their lives in a positive way.” She enjoys science most in school because it feels like learning through a different lens, and in a different way. She likes doing experiments and learning about the world. Wijdan is part of a large Ethiopian population at Glasgow, which contributes to our wide diversity. Wijdan will not be attending Justice next year, instead, she will be homeschooled. She is sad to leave Glasgow but will remember it fondly, “I love Glasgow and I have made so many memories here. It is one of the best middle schools out there and I will forever remember it.”