The Iftar-barbeque organized by the Chicago Dawoodi Bohras has become an annual tradition commencing more than a decade ago when July 4th celebrations happened to fall during the holy month of Ramadan. At night, the tent set up in the masjid parking lot transformed into a magnet for children, among the 900 attendees, with a team of young, enthusiastic cooks and volunteers serving barbeque, s’mores, ice cream, and aromatic chai.
The Chicago Iftar-barbeque gathered local officials, including guest of honor Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, CEO of Saint Anthony Hospital Guy Medaglia, and Mr. Sadruddin Noorani, a respected member of the Ismaili Muslim community. Mayor Grasso and Mrs Grasso were delighted to witness the communal prayer and the Dawoodi Bohras’ unique style of sitting around thaals, large metal plates used for communal eating in groups of eight or nine people.
Dr Jade Medaglia, spouse of Mr Guy Medaglia, later commented, “Everybody was so kind and welcoming. The food was amazing and wholesome. We learned so much about [the Dawoodi Bohra] religion and culture… including those heavenly dates!”
Before parting, Mayor Grasso also took a tour of the new building currently under construction which will cater to religious and cultural education classes and was impressed by the multitude of programs that will be held in the building.
With this year marking another success, the Chicago Dawoodi Bohra community looks forward to building upon its annual Ramadan barbeque tradition and bringing together community members, neighbors, and local officials for many years to come.