Breaking of fast brings diverse cultures together


By - Wednesday 14th June, 2017

Traditions of Ramadan strengthen community ties


Photo by Zach Baker for the Croydon Citizen.

On the evening of Tuesday 30th May, a heartwarming event was held in central Croydon. A large meal called iftar was prepared to observe the tradition of Ramadan and to bring the people of Croydon together. At a time when a few individuals seek to show that extremist violence and hatred exists in the UK, Croydon’s local community provided love, acceptance and delicious food.

Iftar is a religious observance during the month of Ramadan held by the Muslim community, and signifies the breaking of fast. While Muslims are responsible for hosting the event, non-believers are welcome to join as well. Members from all parts of the community gathered on 30th May at the Eagle Community Centre to celebrate the occasion.

Photo by Zach Baker for the Croydon Citizen.

Parahat Akmuradov, a member of the Lighthouse Educational Society, began the community meal with introductions of local council members such as then-MP Gavin Barwell and councillor Hamida Ali. Following speeches from them both, the centre’s staff displayed a video explaining fasting and Ramadan. Akmuradov emphasized the importance of coming together as a community and enjoying each other’s presence.

“If we get to know each other, there won’t be any hatred”

The tables were full of of different beliefs and ethnicities, but an overall sense of unity. The Mayor, councillor Toni Letts, sat with Muslims and they discussed how their faith is based in the same foundation. Father Lee from the local Croydon Minster sat with non-believers and explained what faith meant to him. The sentiment that “fundamentally, a Muslim cannot be a terrorist, a terrorist cannot be a Muslim” was echoed many times during the meal. Attendees were given a three course meal and were encouraged to serve themselves from a wide buffet.

Photo by Zach Baker for the Croydon Citizen.

“If we get to know each other, there won’t be any hatred,” said Muammer Demirpolat, a Muslim from Turkey, after breaking fast. The meal concluded with a prayer and then farewells.

Zach Baker

Zach Baker

Zach Baker is the Croydon Citizen's first dedicated reporter and photographer. Hailing from the US, he is a student studying journalism in London. He has a passion for clean design and incorporating visuals with narratives. As a journalist, he aims to illuminate the stories of Croydon through strong visuals and writing. In his free time he often works with multimedia such as audio and video to create impactful projects. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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