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For only the second time ever, Monmouthshire County Council threw open its doors to an important multicultural Muslim celebration on Friday (15 March 2024)

The Iftar, part of the Ramadan holy month, brought together people of different faiths and backgrounds for prayers and a feast in County Hall, The Radyr, Usk. Monmouthshire Muslim Community Association members, guests from the Muslim community and elsewhere, council members and officers participated in the evening event.

Monmouthshire County Council Leader, Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby speaking at the Ramadan Iftar Event

The Iftar, part of the Muslim tradition, is a feast at sundown after fasting.

Before sharing an amazing array of foods from three different cuisines, guests and members came together to listen to a series of speeches in the council chamber. Of particular note was an eloquent presentation by Imam Ustad Faisal Khajjou followed by an informative Q&A session.

Traditionally, those observing Ramadan break their fast by eating three dates to emulate how the prophet Mohammed broke his fast.

Monmouthshire County Council Leader, Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby, said: “I am delighted once again to cohost our Iftar with Monmouthshire’s Muslim community. Breaking bread together is a special and joyful way to celebrate both our diversity and common humanity. Monmouthshire is welcoming, inclusive and embracing of all cultures and faiths and is a place where anyone would want to live and work.”

Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby

As part of the event, guests heard from Foster Wales Monmouthshire officer Binan El Turaify about the need for Muslim Foster Carers in Monmouthshire. Gwent Police were also in attendance at their Multi Faith display.

Cllr. Angela Sandles, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Engagement, who helped organise the event, added: “We were delighted to host the Iftar again. It enabled people of different faiths, backgrounds and ages to come together and learn about different cultures. Sharing this kind of experience is a great way of breaking down barriers and increasing community unity and understanding. Thank you to our Community Cohesion Lead, Shajan Miah, who helped make this happen.”

Cllr. Angela Sandles
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