St Albans Together…

What an amazing day at our very first ever St Albans big Iftar happened over the weekend, where we saw 600 people our iftar.    Attendees and guests including The Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mr Aktar Zamman, The Right HonourableMayor of StAlbans Cllr Rosemary Farmer, Rabbi AdamZagoria-Moffet and Canon Tony Hurle, were treated to an evening of entertainment that including performances by Khayaal Theatre Company, Khaleel Muhammed, and an impromptu set by members of the Huda Nassheed club.

The atmosphere in Fleetville recreation groundwas similar to a summer fetealbeit with a cultural perspectivewith inflatables and bouncy caste, henna artists,calligraphers and food from all around the world. At 8.53pm the time for iftar, thecall to prayer was led by 11-year-oldHanzala Khaliq a Scout from the 20thSt Albans Ansar, who was supported by the Cub Pack, signingthe Adhan in BSL. Then the feast began, with free dates, fruit and biryani for all, but the beauty of the meal was the community sharing their own food with friends and strangers.

Ramadan is the month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. It is a month of spiritual reflection, personal development, charity and community. Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to reach out to neighbours and strengthen friendships.

Monir Ali, of the The Adda Club, the lead organisers said “ it was great seeing the St Albans Community sitting together in one place and sharing food, and getting to learn about each other’slives, culture and faith.”

JoeTavernier, Head of Community Services for St Albans City and District Council, said: “I was delighted to attend the St Albans Big Iftar. It was a lively, friendly event that attracted a great many people of all ages and backgrounds. I made a point of congratulating the organisers for encouraging peopleof different faiths and communities from across the District to attend. In reaching out to share the breaking of the fast during Ramadan with the whole community, they have helped promote a better understanding of important Muslim traditions and culture.”

The St Albans Big Iftar 2019, led by  us, The Adda Club, was a collaboration of community and faith groups from across the city. The Adda Club is a local organisation promoting Bangladeshi culture, social and linguistic traditions within St Albans and the surrounding areas.

Monir adds “This event would not be possible without many groups collaborating to make it happen! We are so proud how the community has come together and a big thank you to all community partners; Hertfordshire Asian Women’s Association, London Conley Islamic Centre, Jamia Mosque, St Albans Islamic Centre, Al bayyinah School, St Albans Friends Society, Sopwell Community Trust, Hifz Class St Albans, TheSt Albans Moroccan Community Association, Top Grades Learning Centre, Woolfe & Co Solicitors, Mediterranean Boucherie, Peri Peri Original, Kimaya, Sage Mentor and Arischio Consulting. It is with their support that we are able to put this together.

We also need to thank St Albans City & District Council Community Engagement Team for providing us with a grant to cover over half the costs of the event, as well much-needed support, help and encouragement.”

enjoy the pictures…