Mon 27 Mar 2017
28 Jumadal Akhirah 1438 AH
 
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GB Hockey Star Launches Olympic, Ramadan Iftar 2012 Celebrations at Islamic Cultural Centre

Iftar, the evening meal that breaks the Muslim fast during the holy month of Ramadan, is a time of celebration that traditionally includes the hosting of guests and travellers.

This year, for the first time, the Olympics (27 July to 12 August 2012) will take place during Ramadan (20 July to 18 August 2012) and in the spirit of collaboration and friendship mosques across the UK will open their Iftar celebrations to neighbours, visitors, Muslims, non-Muslims, officials and Olympic athletes from across the world.

The reception to launch the initiative took place on Monday 11 June at The Islamic Cultural Centre. Hockey star Darren Cheeseman from Team GB played in a hockey match between local children and the Boy Scouts Association on the grounds. This was followed by a programme of events including a speech by James Brokenshire MP, Home Office Parliamentary Under Secretary. Guests were welcomed by Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan, Director The Islamic Cultural Centre where he gave a welcome speech expressing the importance of all communities being involved in this major sporting event for London and Great Britain.

The Olympics' Ramadan Iftar Celebrations will give visitors a chance to experience Ramadan with local Muslim communities. They will sample warm hospitality and experience the cultural mix of mosques around the UK: a huge range of culinary dishes from Asia, Africa, Europe and the near and far East will be available at different mosques. The Scouts Association enthusiastically supports the initiative and scouts across the country will be on hand to help serve guests during the Iftar meals.

Darren Cheesman, Team GB and Silver Medal hockey winner at the 2007 Olympics said:

"I am delighted to take part in the Iftar celebrations... To have the Olympics in your hometown is just amazing, but to be able to share an experience of your faith with others as part of these celebrations is just fantastic... I hope people will keep an open mind and come along to a local mosque. They will be warmly welcomed and boy will they be well fed."

The Iftar 2012 website, www.iftar2012.com, will provide details of participating mosques across all the Olympic venues in the UK. By using the latest social media tools to help visitors of any faith and no faith to find out what is happening in their areas by simply typing in their postcode. Some of the nation's smaller mosques will have designated Iftar days; the larger ones will run Iftars every day throughout Ramadan that will host Olympic teams and officials as part of the national festivities.