Sharing a meal as a sign of fraternity, friendship and unity
On Friday evening, 31/05/19, IRD Commission took part in an Iftar Dinner upon invitation by Light International School. This occasion was very special and our host was quite hospitable. We were warmly welcomed by the Light International School director Mr. Huseyin Yesin and his team. The location was amazing, with the beautiful view of the Indian Ocean and from the terrace we could see ship coming in or leaving Mombasa port.
A number of religions were represented during the event: the Muslims through the staff of the Light International School, Mr. Mustafa Genc the director of Harmony Institute in Nairobi, the Catholic Church through the presence of Very Reverend Fr. Willybard Lagho the Vicar General Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa and Head of Interreligious Dialogue Commission, staff and colleagues of Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa, both Bishops and Reverend Pastors from the Evangelical, Mainstream and Pentecostal Churches.
We started the event with a short video clip about the Holy month of Ramadan. After the video clip there was the Maghrib prayer after which we started sharing the meal as prescribed by the Islamic tradition; there was water, dates, cookies, samosa, tea to start with. After this people shared the main meal of the day which was deliciously prepared and served.
After sharing the meal, there were few speeches and the general sharing by everyone present. For some people it was the first time to dine with the Muslim and Christian family. Therefore this was a memorable moment for them. But more importantly it was made so special because this very night of Iftar Dinner it is believed by Muslims that it is a special night of blessings and whatever good you do during that night you will receive hundred folds of blessings in the future.
Love for the neighbors, fraternity, peaceful coexistence, hope for the future, care for the unfortunate, these were some of the themes which the speeches had in common.
Thanks to the presence of Mr. Mustafa Genc and his long time friendship with Vicar General Fr. Lagho, the IRD Commission was invited to take part in an Interfaith Dialogue Forum at Cardinal Otunga Plaza, in Nairobi, later this month. The purpose of this forum will be to foster dialogue between Christianity and Islam, their communities following the landmark declaration on Human Fraternity by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al Azhar on 4th February 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
As IRD Commission we want once more to thank Light International School for their friendly gesture of inviting IRD to share in their special moment. We look foreword to future collaboration.
Chiara Gallarini & Samuel Minyaho