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Affinity Friendship & Dialogue Iftar Dinner 2002

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Affinity Friendship & Dialogue Iftar Dinner 2002

For the second year running Affinity Intercultural Foundation (AIF) has proudly sponsored, provided resources and assisted in the organisation of the annual “Friendship & Dialogue Dinner” staged by Auburn Gallipoli Mosque coinciding in the Islamic month of Ramadan (the month of fasting). About 200 guests comprising of teachers, principals, academics, Church leaders from a number of Parishes of diverse Christian denominations, Jewish groups along with the Muslim community got together to enjoy an atmosphere of dialogue. The focus of the evening was to acknowledge the contributions of Auburn Gallipoli Mosque, the visitor services team and the audience who has been a key partner in the development of social and religious harmony in Sydney. The dinner also allowed a warm interaction between people of diverse religious and cultural background.
The evening started with a short recitation and translation from the Holy Qur’an (Chapter Rahman), followed by adhan signifying the breaking of the fast. Following dinner, Mrs Zuleyha Keskin (Director of AIF) presented a short talk about the meaning, spiritual and social aspects of fasting in Ramadan. Four other speakers followed Mrs Keskin – Patricia Abbott, religious studies teacher from Kambala High School, who has been very proactive in the area of educating her school students in other faiths; Ben English, Senior Journalist for the Daily Telegraph, who has written some good articles in October 2002 to breakdown the stereotyping of Muslims in Australia; Rev Helen Richmond, Uniting Church’s National Director for Multicultural Ministries, who has been instrumental with the idea that multi-faith diversity is seen as a gift and not a threat; and Mr Mehmet Ozalp – Manager, Visitor Services, Auburn Gallipoli Mosque and President, Affinity Intercultural Foundation, who gave us a closing speech on the activities of the Visitor Services Team at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque. Also, there was some Sufi music played using a traditional flute-like instrument called “Nay”. The evening concluded with socialising in the background of Sufi instrumental music.
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