Sunday, 5 July 2015

Upcoming Interfaith Initiatives in Ramadan

The following post shares details of two upcoming interfaith initiatives during and after Ramadan:  Jessey Eagan explains SE7EN FAST and Salmaa Elshanshory, co-founder of @EidPrayLove, 
speaks to us about #BringEidToWork.

This year, on 7.7.15, we are inviting people to give up food and drink for one day (sunrise to sunset), like Muslims will be doing for the entire month of Ramadan.  This is fully a solidarity fast.  But it’s also more than that.  Those who participate in SE7EN FAST will be challenged to give the money that they would have spent that day on food to the World Food Programme, with the donations going toward providing food to refugees from the over four-year crisis in Syria.  There are more than 6,500,000 displaced Syrians due to the ongoing conflicts, as well as an estimated 3,000,000 refugees living in camps in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. 
But SE7EN FAST is more than a fundraising campaign or a solidarity movement. 
The best possible outcome for SE7EN FAST will be for Muslims and non-Muslims to share a meal together.  We are inviting Muslim communities throughout the United States to host Iftar meals on 7.7.15, the shared meal that Muslims partake in during Ramadan after sunset.  Participants in SE7EN FAST will then be invited to break fast with their Muslim neighbors.  The more people who participate fully in SE7EN FAST, the more opportunity there is for life-changing and life-giving relationships to occur in our own communities. 
Fear is a two-way street.  The goal of SE7EN FAST is to encourage all people to walk the straight path of peace with one another in the world and in our own communities.

Credit: Salmaa

The BringEidtoWork event may have come to fruition a year ago in the digital world, but for some time now it has been a yearly thing for Bassel Riche. Some might have said it was only natural for Bassel to decide to find another excuse to buy more sweets, but deep down the motivations were much more.

It is through a very human characteristic -that some days feels lacking in this world - that BringEidtoWork felt natural: sharing. It was in the spirit of sharing our holiday rituals that this small gesture came to life. It was the hope this small gesture would create an environment that nurtured meaningful conversations and open doorways of similarities. Questions and conversations that felt foreign or taboo would find comfort in the corridors of sweet affection.

One question would lead to another. How did you make these sweets? Why do you celebrate Eid? I just read this thing about Islam, is it true? Slowly, layers of unknown would be filled with something very known. ‘The person before me is a little less foreign and a little more the same.' 
BringEidtoWork is a conscientious act. It is taking ownership of who we are, by sharing the beauty of our rituals. At its core, Eid is a celebration of the beauties of life and those Allah has graced upon us. It is in that same spirit that we share the beauty of Eid with our coworkers.

Bassel and I look forward to seeing all of your photos and continuing to share with one another the beauty of our religion. Join us:


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