In the evening of Thursday, 22 April 2021, Al Siraat hosted another Interfaith Ramadhan Dinner which was a wonderful opportunity for members from several local community groups and organisations to reconnect.
Respected guests from St Monica’s College attended, including coordinators Clare Turner, Denis Zucchett and Jessie as well as student leaders. Al Siraat and St Monica’s share a long and proud history of interfaith collaboration and friendship.
Noori Ahmed, coordinator for Student Interfaith Leadership, was pivotal in coordinating all the background work for this event and continues to be a strong advocate for interfaith engagement for young people.
The masters of ceremony on the evening were College Captains Layla Rashid and Humza Ghouse.
Mufti Aasim Rashid gave a talk before the sunset prayer (maghreb) and breaking of the fast (iftar) on "Ramadhan – the Month of Gratitude". The event began with a beautiful Qur'an recitation by Hifz student Farhaj Faheem with translation by Da'wah Leadership student Yunus Benamar.
Muslim Indigenous Elder of the Wurundjeri Hassan Andrew Gardiner performed the Welcome to Country, reflecting on the shared history between Indigenous First Peoples of Arnhem Land and the Makassan Muslims dating back long before settlement. College Principal Fazeel Arain shared an inspiring story on the importance of gratitude, especially after you have been blessed with abundance and prosperity.
Federal MP Andrew Giles shared his reflections on gratitude and celebrated our great diversity of the region. Justin O'Meara gave a speech on behalf of Craig Lloyd, the CEO for City of Whittlesea reflecting on the month of gratitude and our diverse community made up of people from over 140 different countries.
The formal presentation closed with a special presentation given by the founder of Whittlesea Interfaith Network (WIN) and former mayor, Kris Pavlidis, in appreciation of and to honour all the hard work and commitment of the WIN team in fostering greater social harmony and cohesion. Kris Pavlidis was also attending the iftar on behalf of MP Lily D’Ambrosio.
This event would not have been possible without the generous support of the Parents & Friends Community leadership, namely Ms Serap and Ms Rihana. Our sincerest gratitude for their efforts pre and post event.
This event was a part of the Interfaith Youth Forum Project, proudly supported by the Victorian State Government and hosted by Al Siraat College in collaboration with Whittlesea Interfaith Network & St Monica’s College, and proudly supported by City of Whittlesea & Victoria Police.