Muslims and non-Muslims round the table together


Saadet Ozturk (18) and her student association SV Legulas were present at a specially organized iftar in Utrecht. Muslims and non-Muslims joined together to enjoy the first meal after sunset. “I’d like to take this initiative more often, to leave my pink bubble, and meet more great people this way.”

Read in Dutch

The Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. During Ramadan, all Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. By fasting, Muslims try to empathize with less fortunate people. But it’s also meant to set aside one’s desires, says Saadet Ozturk (18), who is both a student and a treasurer at student association SV Legulas.

Saadet: “As we’re a multicultural student association, we have quite a few Muslims among our members. So when the association was asked to participate in two iftar meetings, we were immediately enthusiastic. The iftar meeting is an evening during Ramadan, in which Muslims and non-Muslims sit together, converse with each other, and share a meal. A nice get-together, because we believe that a meeting, no matter how small, can change us. The idea behind the evening is simple. A few hours before the sun sets – and the fast can be broken – we come together. Everyone brings something to eat, to share with others. This way, we’ve brought together all kinds of people, to meet each other, to start dialogues.

“Aside from lots and lots of food, there were also several activities. There was a Ramadan For Dummies corner, where you could ask questions. You could get a henna tattoo. And for the people who wanted to do evening prayers, there was a mini mosque.

“What I noticed about these two evenings, was that we had a well-mixed group of people. They had different ages, and we got to meet people from different cultures. It surprised me that so many people took the initiative to join in. To me, it’s still a little scary to go to an event where I don’t know anyone. These iftar meetings have motivated me enormously, to search for different types of events for networking, to start conversations with strangers. The realization that all these cultures and groups of people can co-exist so well, is so beautiful to me. I’d like to take this initiative much more often, to leave my own pink bubble, and get to know more great people this way.”

Translation: Indra Spronk



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