LONDON – Hundreds of Muslim and non-Muslim British people broke bread together on Wednesday, May 23, sharing a free warm Ramadan iftar meal as well as a chance to build bridges in the society.
“It is a real pleasure to have you all here with us tonight,” the Ramadan Tent Project (RTP) founder Omar Salha told Anadolu Agency.
“It is also an honor to host such an event, one that is able to bring us all together in this holy month of Ramadan.”
Founded in the UK in 2013, the RTP is a social enterprise dedicated to serving the youth and wider community through creating spaces of spirituality, dialogue and empowerment, according to a statement on its website.
RTP began as a community initiative inviting people of all faiths to break their fasts together during the month of Ramadan, the statement said, adding that it “envisages a world in which communities are brought together through the spirit of Ramadan all year round”.
Wednesday’s event attendants included Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.
“It is my first time here at RTP, and I have heard many wonderful stories. They are doing great work,” he said.
“It is a real opportunity for me to be here and to join you guys for iftar tonight. I really hope you enjoy it,” Khan added.
Over the past years, Salha worked with groups launching Open Iftars around the world, hosting tens of thousands of people—from Turkey to Canada, the UK to Zambia.
He has also extended it to a larger organization, the Ramadan Tent Project, which does charitable events throughout the year.
The initiative was shortlisted in 2016 as one of the 50 most innovative Global Muslim Startups and has attracted figures from a plethora of professional backgrounds.
The Open Iftar initiative will also be held in cities across the UK such as Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester. It has also been featured in Portland in the US and Istanbul, Turkey.
“The iftar provides a great opportunity for us to come together and to know one another,” an attendee told Anadolu Agency.
“More than offering a free meal, the iftar allows us to engage with one another, and that is what we need more of.”