As part of its Ramadan program for this holy month, QAI hosted friends and families for its final Iftar on June 12th, 2018 focusing on the message of “Islam, Culture & the Arts.” This Iftar sparked conversations about popular traditions seen in Qatar and throughout the Middle East while allowing our guests to experience them firsthand. Arab culture is a set of shared traditions and beliefs that unites most of the twenty-two countries in the Middle East.
While guests waited to break their fast, they enjoyed Ebrahim El Subaie’s calligraphy work and had the opportunity to have their name scripted by the artist himself. Anisa Mohammad showcased her henna designs while sitting in QAI’s Qatari majlis. Guests also enjoyed a live Oud performance by Muaz Edriss.
The evening kick started with a warm welcome from Douglas Smith, former Assistant Secretary of DHS under President Obama and member of QAI’s Board of Directors, who spoke about Gulf Bridge International, the largest Qatari owned private network in the Middle East. Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim Chaplain at Georgetown University and Founder and President of Clergy Beyond Borders, who was awarded the James Gettemy Significant Ministry Award in 2002 for his work in progressing the relationship between the followers of the three Abrahamic religions, shared some comments, and gave the evening prayer.
Imam Yahya Hendi shared his story of becoming the first full-time Muslim Chaplain at an American university. This story included the purpose of his hiring which was mainly to educate non-Muslim students, faculty, and staff about the Muslim faith, while also serving as a resource to Muslim students. In addition, the Imam educated the audience about Ramadan’s goal and the true meaning of Iftar. “The word Iftar comes from the word open. To open our hearts & minds. Iftar everyday reminds me that the sky’s the limit. To dream and think big. That Jews, Christians, and Muslims can come together!”
With only one day left of Ramadan, we’d like to be the first to say Eid Mubarak and we hope you enjoyed our 2018 Ramadan Iftar Series!
The QAI Iftar Series is made possible thanks to the generous support of Gulf Bridge International.