(St. Louis, MO, 8/6/13) – More than 600 people 600 turned out last Friday for the first-ever “Sharing Ramadan with Neighbors” iftar (fast-breaking meal) at the St. Louis Dar al Islam Masjid. The event, which was hosted by the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) and the Girls Muslim Youth of St. Louis (MYSTL), was aimed at building neighborly bonds between communities.
Muslim families from across the city invited their neighbors to break the fast with them during the holy month of Ramadan. Those in attendance included public officials, civil rights activists, interfaith leaders, academics, media professionals, and business leaders.
During the program, presentations were given to educate the community about Islam, their American Muslim neighbors and the importance of Ramadan.
Various groups had tables set up in the hall to provide educational services and to engage the audience. The St. Louis Islamic Information Center (ICC) provided hundreds of free educational materials for those in attendance. MYSLT girls had a table at which guests could get their photo taken while trying on Islamic clothing.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri (ACLU-EM) and the Missouri Immigration Refugee Advocates (MIRA) were present to talk to the audience on immigration reform. St. Louis Project Downtown had a table setup educating the public on hunger within the city.
Bill Ray, a representative from the St. Louis County Executive Office was a special guest speaker who addressed the crowd before prayers on the importance of Muslim communities outreach and engagement.
“Ramadan is a month of sharing and giving,” said CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed. “By sharing a meal with our neighbors, we hope to continue to build bridges of mutual understanding within our communities, and we are very happy with the very large turnout.”
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com