On June 9th, the Rumi Forum and the Turkic American Alliance held a joint Iftar dinner to commemorate the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

The event has become an annual tradition for both organizations. This year, Rumi and TAA’s event brought together over 100 individuals from the DC community, including diplomats, government officials and ambassadors, as well as professionals from think tanks, universities and various media organizations.

In order to accommodate the event’s large attendance numbers, guests enjoyed the dinner at both the Rumi Forum’s and TAA’s spaces. All were served a traditional Turkish meal to break the fast. Afterwards, guests enjoyed Turkish coffee, traditional Turkish apple tea, and baklava.

As guests enjoyed their meals, various speeches were given by some of our honored attendees. Nate Walker, the executive director for the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, commented on the importance of diversity over uniformity, and of the influence of dialogue in promoting understanding and tolerance across cultural and religious lines.

Imam Abdullah Antepli, the chief representative of Muslim Affairs at Duke University also talked about the importance of Ramadan, and about the necessity of translating a love of God into a love for humanity. He noted that experiencing God in your heart also entails extending that same love to those who may not be as fortunate. He also discussed how Ramadan is a month-long chance to slow down, and focus on your internal, spiritual journey, rather than any outside events that may be occurring.

Finally, Arsalan Suleman, the Acting U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), began by honoring the late Muhammad Ali, and the courage, dignity, and inspirational capacity he carried with him. He said that Ali should serve as a model for all of us, as we strive for equality, justice, and peace.

The Rumi Forum would like to thank all of the guests, speakers and the Turkic American Alliance for attending and supporting this event.


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