Revere Ramadan IFTAR Dinner 2023

Story by Marianne Salza

City leaders and residents celebrated the Muslim community and learned about the Islamic culture during the second annual Revere Ramadan Iftar Dinner on April 14 at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center. The ceremony featured musical entertainment by the Chanting Madih Group, from the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP), who sang in Arabic.

“During this month, we appreciate unity,” said Tarek Abdullah, Imam of AICP, who bestowed dinner blessings. “It brings great joy to my heart. We are sharing ideas and understanding each other more. It is great to know we have friends in the City of Revere.”

Guests watched an informational video about Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims as a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection.

“This is a special month for many cultures in the City of Revere,” acknowledged State Representative Jessica Giannino. “It is beautiful that we can come together to learn traditions and similarities. It is a recognition of community, faith, and family.”

Event organizer, Asmaa Abou-Fouda, Language Access Specialist for the City of Revere, described Ramadan as a time to be thankful and to practice self-discipline. Ramadan is believed to be the month that Allah revealed the first parts of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, to the prophet, Muhammad.

“One of my first goals as director of elder services was to be more inclusive and embrace diversity at the center,” said Deb Peczka, Director of Elder Affairs. “It’s been three years of attracting seniors from all cultural groups to join. It takes a village; and Asmaa has brought our first group of Arabic seniors here twice a week.”

State Representative Jeff Turco shared his experience from when he traveled to Turkey 23 years ago as a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders.

“It was eye-opening because the people there were like the people here,” Turco revealed. “They wanted the same things for their children and families: a better world, life, and opportunities.”

Mayor Brian Arrigo reflected on his pride for the City of Revere, and thanked faith leaders of all religions for working together; especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. “When you celebrate the City of Revere, you celebrate everyone in it – the languages, food, and cultures,” Senator Lydia Edwards asserted. “That is a demonstration of how strong this community is. One of the most peaceful and powerful things we can do is sit and have a meal together.”

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