Ramadan Iftar Dinner and Dialog Meeting at the Bosphorus
On August 15th the Turkey based Writers and Journalists Association held a Ramadan fast breaking Iftar meal for foreign correspondents, academics and diplomats living in Turkey. The meeting occurred at the Writers and Journalists Association headquarters along the scenic Bosphorus in Istanbul.
Cemal Uşak of the Writers and Journalists Association described the Iftar dinner’s goal of intercultural dialog during the month of Ramadan. Usak explained that, “Experiencing the Ramadan and spirituality of Ramadan is a kind of coming together, gathering together as different people, as neighbors, as relatives also as believers of different faith traditions.”
Luiz Henrique Fonseca, the Brazilian Consulate General in Istanbul discussed the Ramadan iftar meal, saying that it was an “important” and “educating” experience for him.
American Professor of Psychology William Knapp enjoyed the sense of community Ramadan creates as opposed to what he experienced in his native Chicago. Said Knapp, “During the evening around Iftar people become very happy and friendly. And there really is such a beautiful sense of community here in Istanbul and in Turkey that I never really got in Chicago.”
Attendees talked about their impressions of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the fast and the celebration after each daily fast is broken. Journalist Alkis Courcoulas, Istanbul Bureau Chief of the Greek Based Athens News Agency liked Ramadan’s slow pace stating that Ramadan had a “semi-vacational” feel to it.
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