Cape Town - A shared meal can do more than just fill stomachs and experiencing a breaking fast dinner (Iftar) with a Muslim family might be the ideal way to afford people of different backgrounds an opportunity to engage or share knowledge and perspectives.
The Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI) with volunteer families will open their homes to those who want to share in the fast-breaking meal (iftar) during the month of Ramadaan.
The initiative is but one of the programmes which are all centred around promoting social cohesion and dialogue among all people.
Regional director Dr Aydin Inal said: “Iftar is not just a meal. It is a distinctly spiritual experience and a time when Muslims feel a special connection with the Almighty. We think it makes an appropriate occasion to share this experience with people from other traditions.”
The month-long fast is expected to take place during the first week of April, requiring those who fast to abstain from all foods and drinks from dawn to sunset.
The Women’s platform co-ordinator, Rabia Inal, said: “Just build bridges because when we don’t know each other, we always have fear, we’re always scared of each other. But when you sit around a table, especially at a house, sharing the meal, you just express yourself as a human being, and then you see the other as a human being, so you connect.”
Volunteer Sherizaan Basadien previously hosted an Iftar dinner. “The Iftar experience that we had last year was meaningful where you can actually share what your experiences of the Ramadaan are and where you can experience the culture, especially the Cape Malay culture and how we traditionally uphold our Iftar, giving treats to our neighbours with the little ones.
“We believe that if you break your fast with a treat that your neighbour or your friend or your family members gave you, the rewards will be so much more. And I think the beauty of that experience was, we could share it.
“I think the guest felt enlightened, and even though we may have different traditions, all our intentions are about sharing and giving.”
Those interested in participating must apply first to be linked with a family. Any person who would like to join in the fast-breaking meal will not be required to fast on the day.
For more information, or to apply, email [email protected]