Date posted: June 23, 2015
SEZAİ KALAYCI / NEW YORK
Thousands of people in Queens County, New York attended an iftar (fast-breaking meal) dinner held on Saturday evening.
Muslims across the world fast every year during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Turkish Cultural Center (TCC) organized the iftar event in Queens. During the event, attendees of different religions were provided with information about the Ramadan tradition to contribute to inter-religious dialogue.
Governor of the State of New York Andrew Cuomo did not participate in the event, but sent his assistant to the iftar. Speaking during the event, TCC manager Oğuzhan Turan pointed out that the center’s aim is to keep Ramadan alive not only for Muslims, but also for everyone.
There were whirling dervishes on Saturday, the first day of the iftar tent organization. On Sunday, Iranian Amir Vahap and his band famous in New York for their Sufi music, took the stage for an hour, drawing great interest from an eclectic multi-national crowd.
Turan said that the center is planning to host iftar to more than 3,000 people, as they have done in previous years. Pointing out that its expectations for the first two days were fulfilled, Turan said: “Tomorrow is the last day of the iftar organization and we hope that more than 1,000 people will come, as they did today.”
Turkish schools operating in Romania also hosted an iftar dinner, attended by thousands of people, on Saturday evening.
Lumina schools in Romania, which have been conducting their educational activities for 21 years, invited 1,000 people, including Turks and Romanians, to its annual iftar dinner organization. George Grigore described the atmosphere in the room, saying: “We have been invited to a Turkish iftar dinner. It has become a tradition here and has become the symbol of understanding and friendship. People from different beliefs are gathered here, but there is perfect tolerance and harmony.”
A Turkish businessman, Erhan Demirhan, also expressed his emotions, saying: “As Alevists, we see these schools, with both Romanians and Turks, providing the atmosphere of tolerance, love and respect.”
Source: Today's Zaman , June 21, 2015