The Eden Project’s Big Lunch came to Beeston on Monday evening (29 May 2017) as the community celebrated the start of Ramadan eating dinner together on a big table.
People from all major faiths and religions including the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith and people of no faith attended this successful event which showed unity, peace and love in the community. The event was held at the Hamara Centre and began with a minute silence to pay respect and share the community’s grief with the victims of the Manchester attack.
Amongst those present were team of young men and women are going to walk from Dewsbury to Scotland, covering over 440 miles in 21 days, in memory Member of Parliament Jo Cox on the occasion of the first anniversary of her murder.
Reverend Heston from All Hallows Church said: “There is so much in common amongst all of us here this evening, but we need to get out of our comfort zones and make real friends from other communities if we really want to bring about a positive change in our community.”
Qari Asim MBE spoke about sharing the grief and pain with the families of Manchester victims. “We are all affected by such violent extremist acts regardless of our faiths. We can only respond by being united.”
Gohar Almass Khan from the South Leeds Community Alliance stressed that humanity is above any religion or race.
“Being loyal to our country should be a top priority, Muslims are an integral part of British society and need to play a more proactive role. Our common enemy wishes to divide us but common-sense, tolerance, love, peace and unity must and shall prevail. Unity in diversity is the strength of Leeds and I’m a proud citizen of Leeds and Beeston.” He said.
Rabbi Esther Huganholtz representing the Jewish community said she is going to start working in America in the near future where she will share her experiences working with the Muslim Community of Leeds. “We worship the same God so why are we divided?” she added.
Muzdalfa Ahmed of the Youth Parliament and Deputy Chief Editor of a Pakistani Urdu daily Ijaz Fazal both spoke about their delight to see people from all faiths, races and age groups sitting together showing solidarity and unity.
People from many communities including Polish, Irish, Kurdish, Albanian, Iraqi, Pakistani and Indian communities and local police officers also attended the event and declared it a great success and enjoyed the Pakistani cuisine.
Ramadan is the holy month in the Muslim calendar and involves day time fasting. Each day the fast is broken at sunset with the Iftar meal. This year Ramadan runs from 26 May to 24 June and is concluded with the festival of Eid.