Community Leaders Iftar Dinner 2018
Iftar is the meal eaten after sunset during Sawm, the fasting that occurs during the holy month of Ramadan. Iftar meals are also a symbol of friendship, understanding and social harmony. The event brought together 120 community leaders from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Through the simple act of sharing a meal, attendees were able to learn from one another and strengthen connections and friendships.
With guests coming together in the spirit of understanding, the Iftar dinner provided an opportunity for attendees to reflect on the core universal values that unite as all, as well as recognise our differences as a source of strength. Ahmet Polat, Executive Director of Affinity Intercultural Foundation said that these conversations contribute to a better community, society and ultimately a better humanity.
Highlights of the program included a keynote address by Professor Julia Coyle, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students). Julia challenged us not just to listen in order to respond, but to listen to truly understand each other. She also encouraged us to implement contemporary team practices in order to embrace the value of diversity and encourage innovation.
Dr Mahsheed Ansari, Lecturer, Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisations, Charles Sturt University encouraged us to look within ourselves in order to develop our relationships with others and work together to strengthen our communities.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Amity College students and UOW alumnus Kate Cillekens on guitar.
Dr Melissa Thompson, UOW’s Community Engagement Manager said that UOW are proud to host an annual Iftar dinner as part of the University’s commitment to building community and extending hospitality.