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Organic Iftar

14/04/2009

This year for the fourth year, we (the Midlands Islamic Network for the Environment, with support of Birmingham Friends of the Earth/ Faith & Climate Change Project, Ulfah Arts and The Zawiya) are planning to hold an organic iftar (breaking of the fast at dusk for Muslims). Increasing environmental awareness (or duty of people to look after Creation, as Islamic teachings tell us) can be difficult: there are so many other issues that call for our attention: poverty, injustice, violence, war…

Our organic iftar offers women of all faiths and none the opportunity to get together in a relaxed atmosphere and ponder on the beauty of Creation and our need to look after the environment in a novel, indirect way. Attendees are requested to bring along a (vegetarian) dish of their choice, preferably one that they have a special connotation with because of their faith, their ethnic origin, a special occasion or for any other personal reason. This leads to an eclectic mix of lovely dishes (plus keeps organisation affordable) and what easier way to break the ice than ask about what one has brought and why. Also, Ulfah Arts provide artists to read environmental poetry from poets recent and long ago (and other expressions of the spoken word). The location, The Zawiya, is a Sufi-Islam inspired community centre where reflection and meditation are much encouraged.

One of my key memories from last year was when one sister stood up and shared with us all her path to doing her part in looking after the environment, inspired by the previous organic iftar: a lone parent who learned how to cycle, keep ex-battery hens and subscribe to a weekly veg box delivery to provide healthy, organic food to her two young daughters. She had achieved all that in one year, without much community support, but through a renewed inspiration from her faith.

The details for this year’s organic iftar are yet to be confirmed, but it looks like Tuesday 15 September 2009, from 6.30pm at The Zawiya, Small Heath, Birmingham. All ladies (and children up to 8) are welcome!

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