Thursday, June 07, 2018

Sharing an Iftar Meal with Guests from the Village Café

For the third year in a row, the Interfaith Hunger Coalition (IHC) was invited to share an Iftar meal with the Turkish community in Albuquerque. The practice of sharing a meal with the community at sundown is one way in which Muslims around the world celebrate the end of a day of fasting during the month of Ramadan. (Fasting means no food OR Water. Abstaining from water all day is significant in our high desert environment, especially when temperatures reach the lower 90s!).

Necip Orhan, executive director of the Dialogue Institute-Albuquerque, told us how this spirit of sharing has been a family tradition while he was growing up in his small village in Turkey. During Ramadan, his father would often go to the local café just before sundown and often returned home with several guests to come share an iftar meal with the family. His mother and sisters would always have enough food on hand to share with any guests who arrived at their home.

On Wednesday, June 6, 30-plus members of the IHC and other members of the local community, were the guests for a delicious meal, consisting of a tasty meat patty, potatoes, salad and a sweet cookie-like pastry.

Necip and his wife Rabia did not find the guests this evening at a local cafe, but they sent invitations via a modern-day café (e-mail). The meal was shared with members of the Albuquerque Baha'i Community, Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Central United Methodist Church, Community of Hope, First Congregational Church, Holy Rosary Catholic Community, St. John XXIII Catholic Community, Catholic Charities, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light and others.

We ended the meal with a Christian prayer (led by Franciscan Sister Joan Brown) and and Muslim prayer (led by Necip).. Here are some photos.

Necip Orghan
Several guests converse just before the meal is served

Rabia Sahin Orhan (center)
Sister Joan Brown receives special gift from our hosts

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