Muslims start Ramadan this weekend.JOHN LEWIS June 28, 2014 3:44am
Sa'Daat Foundation directors Muhammad Bob Graham (left) and Imran Syed (right) have organised a Community Iftaar during Ramadan. They are pictured with Raihaan Syed, 6.
Shepparton’s Muslim communities start the holy month of Ramadan this weekend with daily fasting and evening meals, or Iftaars.
Once again a Community Iftaar for Muslims and non-Muslims is being organised by the not-for-profit Sa’Daat Foundation — a Shepparton-based community organisation promoting cultural and religious diversity.
Foundation director Imran Syed said this year’s multicultural banquet would be at Shepparton’s Sherbourne Terrace on Saturday, July 19.
‘‘This is a chance for people from all backgrounds to get together and break bread in a peaceful, harmonious gathering,’’ Mr Syed said.
Last year’s event at Shepparton Showgrounds’ Macintosh Centre saw hundreds of people from more than 40 nationalities sit down for a free dinner.
This year, traditional Indian and Turkish cuisine will be on offer.
‘‘Breaking bread together is a wonderful way to break barriers,’’ Mr Syed said.
He said he expected more than 300 people, including ordinary residents and community leaders to attend this year’s Community Iftaar.
Fellow foundation director Muhammad Bob Graham said the event was a regular part of the Shepparton calendar with attendances growing since it began five years ago.
‘‘The success can be measured by the fact that non-Muslims who come are coming back — and bringing more people,’’ Mr Graham said.
‘‘I’ve never seen a table without a conversation. Speakers now have to have microphones and loudspeakers to be heard,’’ he said.
Mr Syed said this year’s Iftaar would begin with a brief talk by a Muslim scholar from Melbourne.
‘‘The aim is to promote an understanding of the traditions and values of the Islamic community to the wider community,’’ Mr Syed said.
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