BRISTOL – Thousands of people of different and no faiths have celebrated the breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan in Bristol, sending a powerful message of unity.
People flocked to St Marks Road in Easton on Thursday night to join the colorful iftar gathering, with volunteers, in an incredible feat of community organizing, distributing thousands of food parcels, dates, fruit, and drinks to people who lined the street.
“When people talk about diversity, this is diversity. People come from all different cultures, from all different faiths. I hope this is replicated every year now. This is something we intend to do every year. And we want people from all around Bristol to come here,” Councillor Afzal Shah said, Bristol Post reported.
Guest speakers included Thangham Debbonaire MP, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Lord Mayor Cleo Lake, and Metro-Mayor Tim Bowles.
Bowles said: “It’s amazing. I have lots of friends and would have come even if I can not be invited.”
Abdul Ismail, one of the owners of Bristol Sweet Mart, who is one of the organizers of the event said: “I think this is exceptional. I think there must be up to 4,000 people here. It is a lot busier than last year. We have had so much help from volunteers.
“There are so many people to thank. There are so many people who are willing to help out – it’s great.
“If you walk up and down this street there is always someone to speak to. I live in another part of Bristol and it’s not like that there. It’s a peaceful religion. Look how many people have gathered from different communities and everyone gets on so well. I feel very proud.”
Resident Frank Howard, who has lived in Easton for 42 years and one of the guests who attended the massive iftar praised the event.
“It’s absolutely incredible. Everyone is enjoying themselves. It’s a very nice community,” he said.