Friday, June 27, 2014

Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan Starts June 28; Local Groups Offer Public Interfaith Dinners to Raise Awareness

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims in Pittsburgh and around the world fast during daylight hours, begins June 28. Several local organizations will hold public interfaith dinners, known as Iftars, to raise awareness of their faith and Ramadan traditions.

On the evenings of June 30 and July 1-2, the Turkish Cultural Center of Pittsburgh and the Intercultural Dialogue Group of University of Pittsburgh will host Iftar Dinner Tent gatherings at 8:54 p.m. (sunset) on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., in Oakland. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 200 people each night.

On July 13, the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh will host its annual Humanity Day Celebration to honor members of the Pittsburgh community who are working to initiate dialogue and build bridges, thereby strengthening our bonds of humanity. The 6:30 p.m. event is open to people of all faiths, and will be followed by a complimentary Iftar banquet. More information is available at http://www.icp-pgh.org/humanity-day. The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh is located at 4100 Bigelow Blvd. in Oakland.

One of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is a time when the principles of generosity and hospitality become especially important. The breaking of the fast every evening, the Iftar, is an event where people traditionally host their neighbors and friends for dinner.

Several local restaurants also are serving Iftar dinners, including Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District, and Palmyra, which is located downtown. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/1lVnqSS for the article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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