On the 18th of May Belfast Islamic Centre and the Muslim Community of Northern Ireland held a community Iftar (meal to break the fast) for the wider NI community. Taste Ramadan is a UK wide initiative by the Myriad Foundation supported by Al Khair Foundation and Belfast was one of a number of similar events held across the UK. The theme of the evening was “Share Food Share Friendship”
It’s safe to say Belfast’s First Taste Ramadan Event was popular! An unprecedented number of people came that far exceeded our expectations. We managed to pack in quite a crowd, perhaps up to 1000 people of all faiths and none.
Our small army of volunteers worked hard behind the scenes – sending invites, organising food before the event and serving food during it. A number of local restaurants and businesses donated food for the occasion.
We were joined by Special guest, Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council and Chief Imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri who spoke on the significance of Ramadan for Muslims as well as the importance of friendship and unity between communities in Islam, BIC’s own Sheikh Mostafa recited Quran and Peter Osborne, head of the Community Relations Council (CRC) spoke about Belfast as an diverse city, working together.
Local politicians & public representatives were among our guests including Emma Pengally MP, Claire Hanna MLA, Paula Bradshaw MLA, David Armitage – former Cllr and founder member of Three Faiths Forum, Peter Osborne Community Relations Council, Ed Petersen Clonard and Interfaith Forum, Andy George – Ethnic Minority Police Association and members of PSNI.
We will be learning from and building on the experience of this year and hope to continue as an annual event. We would like to thank each and every person who came for being part of the inaugural Taste Ramadan Belfast Annual Iftar event held by the Muslim Community of Northern Ireland.