Ramadan’s probably Egyptians’ most favorite time of the year; there’s so much to cherish about it. It’s such a unique month of spiritual healing and soul cleansing. I enjoy Ramadan’s social and religious aspects as well as the charity work which is more evident than ever during this holy month.

I was talking to a few friends about how they feel about fasting and many of them said they feel grateful for what they have.

And then it hit me.

There are so many great qualities about Ramadan; it brings people closer. During Ramadan, family members and friends spend a lot of time together. Everyone shares the same feelings of hunger and thirst as they gather around a big, happy iftar table full of delicious food. It makes us bond with people we love over iftar or suhoor.

Ramadan promotes charity work, encouraging many Egyptians to donate food, clothes and  whatever else they can. Families and friends come together to pack food parcels to be distributed to the less fortunate all over the city as well as other governorates. It’s incredibly gratifying to see my Facebook homepage full of friends motivating others to donate and volunteer. I love it when we unite for a good cause.

In a nutshell, Ramadan makes people realize how blessed they are.

The missing puzzle piece, in an otherwise wonderful picture, is a keyword we sometimes tend to overlook: the word “month”.

We are charitable and get together with family more often during this month. Ramadan makes us feel grateful for what we have. This month brings us closer to God. We fast during Ramadan. (We also focus on food way more than we usually do, but that’s besides the point). We use less foul language and pray more during Ramadan.

That’s all wonderful, but what about the other eleven months of the year? Who are you? What do you do? Are you as grateful for your life? Are you as eager to donate food and money? Are you as willing to give away your clothes? Do you visit orphanages and send broadcast messages to help pack food parcels? Do you pray as often? Do you do as much good? Are you the same person you are in Ramadan as you are for the rest of the year?

I cherish and treasure the goodness I see in people during Ramadan. I do not, however, want it to be exclusive to that specific month. I wish to see this happen all year round. I would like us to be as eager to visit orphanages and give food to the less fortunate in May, November and every other month of the year.

Let this holy month inspire you to be good throughout the year. I think God would be very happy to see us trying to be the best we can be all year round – not just in Ramadan. May He bless you and inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself every day.