For the past 20 years, Houstonians of all background come together to rejoice in the tradition of iftār in the fourth largest metropolis of the USA. ‘This event is organised by an untiring group of volunteers including Muslims and non-Muslims, women and men, old and young, professionals and businesspersons,’ said Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Coordinator of the event.
Iftār is the breaking of fast at day’s ends during Ramadan, and traditionally families, friends and communities come together to break bread.
The all inclusive Houston iftār revives this tradition every year, where the Mayor of the City is the Chief Guest, and several federal and local elected officials, Consul Generals of various countries, heads of various community organisations and Houstonians from all walks of life are present.
Every year this event is chaired by a different organisation, and this year the Dawoodi Bohra Community of Houston was the chair, represented by Sheikh Yusuf Mogri.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said, ‘This years’ event is my fourth Houston iftār. The Muslim Community of Houston is a salient part of the fabric of Houston, and I want to make sure that this enterprising community is represented at City Hall and participates in all aspects of society. Today is the largest ever gathering of the Houston iftār and I feel honoured to be speaking to you all today. We are a big diverse family here in Houston, and the Muslim Community is an important segment.’
Other dignitaries attending the dinner included Members of Congress Sheila Jackson Lee & Congressman Al Green, oil magnate Syed Javaid Anwar, ISGH President Sohail Syed and former City of Houston Councilperson M.J. Khan.