The dinner table is central to all societies; food not only nourishes our bodies but also nourishes our souls and builds community. It has come to represent family traditions, culture, friendship, hospitality, and community.
Ramadan occurs once a year and as prescribed by Islam, adult Muslims will fast from dawn to dusk, if their health permits. After the sun sets, the day-long fast is broken by Iftar, the evening meal usually shared with family or other community members. Ramadan lasts for 30 days and is a time for reflection, spiritual discipline, gratitude for God’s guidance, atonement for past sins, awareness of human fragility, and providing assistance to those in need.
With many IDPs currently residing in the Rwanga Community Camp, this time of year can be very hard for those who celebrate Ramadan as they are away from their home and family members. In collaboration with Khaima and Zarok NGOs, The Lotus Flower hosted an Iftar meal on May 31st, 2018 for around 100 Muslim and Yezidi women in the Rwanga Community camp.
The meal served as an integration platform between two communities, Muslim and Yezidi, as they shared their own stories of previous Ramadan celebrations, family traditions, and favorite dishes. Regardless of one’s background, sharing holiday meals and the traditions surrounding them builds friendship, community, and a sisterhood. The peacebuilding process begins with the fostering of religious and cultural understanding, and this dinner provides a platform to meet at the table.