As Muslims throughout the area prepare for the holy month of Ramadan, which begins Thursday, many are also making efforts to share their customs and beliefs with the non-Muslim community.

Community meals known as interfaith iftars have emerged as a Ramadan tradition in Northeast Ohio. The iftar, or fast-breaking, is the meal observant Muslims enjoy at sunset during Ramadan after a day of abstaining from food and drink.

The community iftars invite people from all faiths to share dinner and learn about Islam.

“Taking part in an iftar is an excellent chance for people of all faiths to get to know their Muslim neighbors, to move beyond stereotypes and toward understanding,” said Isam Zaiem, president of the Cleveland chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR will hold its annual Sharing Ramadan Community Iftar at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland State University’s Joseph Cole Center, 3100 Chester Ave.

Baby-sitting and children’s games will be available. For reservations, call 216-830-2247.


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