Iftar Friendship Dinner in Virginia Beach

Sandler Center for the Performing Arts has witnessed an auspicious Iftar Dinner on May 21, 2019.

Virginia Beach City Officials, Police Department, Human Rights Committee and Arts & Humanities Commission as well as community leaders, faith leaders, people from different faiths and cultures met and enjoyed a delightful conversation.

Participants sat mixed around the table to keep the diversity and enable a live interaction.  To maintain a long term friendship, this first time meeting opportunity must go on further. They were given forms to be hosted by Rumi community throughout the year.

There were stunning displays of traditional Turkish arts and handicrafts, a master calligrapher flew in from Florida who prepared names and artwork for guests as well as demonstrated his skill on the projector for all. Emily Labows, the Director of Cultural Affairs Department, summarized the process of the event form the beginning. To mark the Holy month for Muslims, Dr. Islam Bedir gave an insight into the significance and the meaning of Ramadan.  Hakan Atasever of Rumi Friendship Association highlighted the purpose of the event linking the social aspect of Ramadan with this gathering. A well known and respected interfaith person, Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg was the keynote speaker of the Iftar DInner. She has adorned her essential speech with a beautiful story. A moment of silence was observed for Father Jim Parke. Police Chief Cervera and a number of our men and women in blue were there and knew several of the community members from past Iftar Dinners. The musicians were outstanding. Secret Trio has amazed the crowd with their excellent performance.

As an act of a gesture, Virginia Beach City Mayor Honorable Robert M Dyer has awarded Rumi Friendship Association with a Proclamation. Councilman Michael Berlucchi presented it at the event.

Participants looked fully fancied and appreciated the whole program and wished similar events would take place more often, which are in line with the Virginia Beach inclusive vision.