Guest post by Maryam Duale | Dine@Mine

 

Thank you Maryam for this wonderful and evocative post – and for the challenge!

Who’s up for a bit of peace-building over a delicious meal?  Full details below.

Almost a year ago today I had the pleasure of attending Shabbat dinner at Rabbi Wittenberg’s house, a lovely soul that touches the hearts of everyone he meets.

It was also Ramadan on the night Rabbi welcomed 30 interfaith activists and myself into his home. The entry of Shabbat coincided quite nicely with the end of the fasting day.

We prayed the evening prayer in the garden after breaking our fast. As we prostrated on the cool grass we could hear the blessing for the challah bread (a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Shabbat and holidays) drifting through the kitchen window. That evening we broke our fast with fruit and challah bread.

It was perhaps one of the most special evenings of my life and one of the most unique Ramadan dinners ever!  Sharing in such an intimate moment as Shabbat with a Jewish family was simply beautiful!

Food plays an important role in many faith traditions. Whether it is Langar, free food offered to all people regardless of race or religion, in Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples), or Shabbat dinner, to mark the day of rest on a Friday night, or Iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast in Ramadan. Food has the potential to bring people together, to create as well as rebuild broken bonds, and it has the power to create a hearty atmosphere for dialogue.

I know what Iftar is like at my house. It is loud, it is solemn, it is full of laughter, it is prayerful, and it is warm. Dine @ Mine is all about sharing the Ramadan experience with neighbours, colleagues; sharing food and making new friends. The idea is that Muslim families ‘apply’ to host non-Muslim families. And families from other backgrounds ‘apply’ to attend an Iftar.  Once we receive an application from families in the same area we put them in touch.

With over 20 Muslim families signed up and Dine@Mine events in London, Manchester and even as far as New Delhi and South Africa, it has grown beyond my expectations. Why? Because people are desperate to connect! They are desperate to break down those barriers and get to know their neighbours.

With the rise in Islamophobia many people are eager to understand the Muslim community and Islam. We hope this initiative will help to break down stereotypes and create a sense of community and lasting friendships.

If you would like to be paired with a family in your area during the Dine@Mine week in Ramadan please email dineatmine@ramadanfestival.org for more info.

Dine@Mine

HOPE not hate blog: Dine@Mine.  A great initiative during the month of Ramadan to pair up Muslim families with families from different backgrounds to celebrate the breaking of the fast together.

Dine@Mine will take place from Monday 30th July till Sunday 5th August.

Full details of how to sign up (hosting or visiting) are on the Ramadan Festival website.

Great opportunities to deliver Iftar to homeless people during Ramadan

The Ramadan Festival is gearing up – lots of info and ideas on how to make the most of this special time of year.

Ramadan is a time of giving, of charity, of sharing, of remembering those in need and reaching out.

Email idareufoundation@gmail.com to find out more about the training days and how you can help run soup kitchens in

  • Tottenham
  • Streatham
  • Sutton
  • Enfield
  • Wembley
  • Marylebone

Visit the Ramadan Festival site for full details of all the other opportunities during the time of the Olympic Truce.

Ramadan Festival 20 July – 19 August

Ramadan Festival 20 July – 19 August

The Ramadan Festival will bring together people from different faiths (and none).  They will eat supper and break the fast together in a local mosque during the month of Ramadan.  They will share the atmosphere that is created at such a special time of year for Muslims.

Ramadan is a time of giving, of charity, of sharing, of remembering those in need and reaching out.

These are all qualities embodied by the Olympics too and we are excited to be able to combine those at the same time this year.

All eyes will be on the UK and especially on London. It gives all of us the chance to showcase the fantastic diversity that we celebrate and hold so dearly in Great Britain.

This year Ramadan falls between 20th July and 19th August, although the exact dates depend on the sighting of the moon.

If your mosque would like to take part, please contact the Islamic Society of Britain.  The Ramadan Festival is part of the 2012 Hours Against Hate coalition.