4 May 2022
Manor Gardens staff helped set up a Community Iftar during Ramadan to bring women together to break their fast. Seventeen people attended the session ranging from ages 22 to 29. The participants ranged from a variety of backgrounds – Somali, Eritrean, Gambian, Pakistani, Bengali and Yemeni. All attendees were of the 1st generation in the UK.
The evening allowed people to exchange food from different cultures and they were able to discuss cultural foods and recipe ideas for Iftar and Suhoor. Many of the participants did not know each other so it was very nice for them to make new friends.
Staff led discussions on mindfulness before they broke fast, and dedicated a few minutes of silence for reflecting on goals and making “dua”/prayer for our loved ones. They were also able to pray in congregation together.
The women were able to discuss discipline, patience and how Ramadan is anti-consumerist in spirit, going against what they had been conditioned with, that you never have enough and need more to feel fulfilled. They were practicing abstention and felt genuine contentment.
'This is the first community iftar I’ve been to and it was so wholesome. I normally break fast with my family but so glad I came today and met some amazing sisters. Really hope it happens again next year as well.'
'As a foodie, I loved all the food and hearing about different cultures and their Ramadan practices. The whole evening was a vibe.'
'I just enjoyed leaving my house as I work remotely. Also, I have a very small family. I suffer from anxiety so the mosque during Ramadan can be a bit much for me as it gets really packed. Loved that we prayed in congregation with a more intimate circle. Definitely looking forward to attend again if it happens next year.'