University of Wollongong Iftar Dinner 2016

The University of Wollongong (UOW) together with the Affinity Intercultural Foundation Wollongong (AIFW) co-hosted their fourth annual Iftar dinner, at the Terrace Restaurant, Wollongong campus on Thursday 16 June 2016.

 

UOW and AIFW were pleased to welcome many distinguished guests from across the community, business, education and religious organisations to share a meal and the spirit of the occasion.

 

Associate Professor SalihYucel, course Director and Lecturer at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University delivered a thought provoking and humorous keynote address. Associate Professor Yucel reflected on his varied international career providing insights and sharing one of his favourite quotes “hospitality comes before hostility”.

 

The musical performances of the evening provided a sample of the rich cultural diversity of our community. Ivan Morris provided an amazing digeridoo performance and TufanCamurtay, Art Teacher, Amity College shared the hypnotising sound of the Ney (Turkish Flute).

 

Dr Melissa Thompson, UOW’s Community Engagement Manager said that UOW are proud to continue to host an annual on campus Iftar dinner to together with AIFW. “This is an important opportunity to celebrate diversity, encourage social harmony, create joint understanding, extend hospitality and strengthen friendships.” Dr Thompson said.

 

 

Student Leaders Iftar 2016

On Monday 27th June, Amity College in partnership with Affinity Intercultural Foundation hosted its inaugural Student Leaders’ Iftar Dinner

 

This year’s theme “Sharing experiences and celebrating diverse cultures” brought twelve diverse schools across Sydney and over ninety guests together. Each participating school and their student leaders reflected over the importance of such dialogue initiatives and the great and attainable hope such platforms occasions for our future young leaders. Both Amity’s BHS & GHS’s SRC leadership collaborated their efforts in this program.

 

Amity’s Executive Principal, Mr Deniz Erdogan explained the objective of this initiative “to instill in our leading students – the future young men and women of a cohesive and harmonious multicultural Australia – an authentic understanding of the “other” in their frame of reference – platforms like these are essential”.

 

Similar sentiments were echoed across the floor reflections like Ms Lara Cysnok from Brigidine College in St Ives who mentioned that “such an incredible opportunity would mean a wonderful world we will be starting off with” whilst Amity’s Adna Mahmutovic echoed “our similarities – founding blocks; our differences that edge & spark” – a hopeful visionary leadership quality in both these young ladies.
This set the benchmark for more similar programs here onwards.

Education Leader Iftar 2016

The Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AIS) and Amity College, in partnership with Affinity Intercultural Foundation organised the 3rd annual Education Leaders’ Iftar (Breaking the Fast) Dinner which held at the Amity College Prestons campus on Wednesday, 22nd June 2016.

This annual dinner is aimed at bringing together educational leaders from around New South Wales representing Independent, Catholic and Government schools, and intends to promote the importance of cultural, religious and social understanding and harmony. In doing so, we aim to bring together individuals from different sectors in the community and establish the unity and solidarity that today’s world is in need of.

The theme for this year’s Iftar dinner was “Shared Responsibility: Weaving the community together in today’s polarised world”.

This event must not be mistaken for a fancy gathering of individuals to share a meal. On the contrary, it is an opportunity and responsibility, first and foremost for educational institutions, to understand and acknowledge that this event is aimed at weaving together and uniting the wider community. In doing so it should enable us as education leaders, being in such influential roles at our schools, to instill this responsibility in everyone around us – similar to the rippling effect created by a single stone thrown in a still, shimmering lake.

 

Community Leaders Illawara Iftar Dinner 2016

On the 26th of June community leaders of the Illawarra came together to share an iftar dinner co-hosted by Affinity and Amity College and learn more about each other at our Community Leaders Iftar Dinner. We are honoured to share the spirit of holy month, Ramadan, with the leaders of Illawarra.

Principle of Amity College, Mehmet Aslan said “Theiftar attendance sent a strong message to the wider community that we are all a part of the Australian society and everyone’s contribution is valued. With the support of the community and its leaders, collectively we’ll be able to overcome misconceptions and work towards building a more harmonious, accepting and embracing community culture.”


 

Building Harmony Iftar Dinner 2016

On the 23rd of June, Affinity in partnership with the Uniting Church in Australia came together with members of their respective communities to share in the traditional iftar meal.

The distinguished guests were welcomed to the dinner by Reverend Myung Hwa Park and Mehmet Saral. The keynote address was given by the head of Muslim Women’s Association, MahaAbdo.

As per Affinity’s tradition, the guests were treated to an enchanting musical performance by Hameed Attai and the evening was concluded with floor reflections from the guests.

Overall, the night was a success with positive feedback from participants. We thank the Uniting Church for this opportunity and hope to see many more events like this in the future.