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AIS and La Trobe University Celebrate Intercultural Iftar as Ramadan Comes to a Close

During one of the last days of Ramadan, AIS and La Trobe University hosted an iftar dinner at La Trobe's John Scott Meeting House on 24 July 2014. It was the Intercultural Society's last iftar dinner of the year.

The evening's master of ceremonies was Professor Nick Bisley, executive director of the La Trobe Asia initiative. Muammer Guler gave the call to prayer and recited several verses from the Quran, and a welcome speech was presented by Professor Jane Long, La Trobe's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Guest speakers included George Donikian, broadcaster and media personality; Eddie Micallef, chairperson of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria; and Safa Almarhoun, youth commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Each speech provided a different perspective on multiculturalism, with speakers referring to the impact of technological advances, the value of grassroots support and Victoria's recent societal shifts in favour of diversity.

Connecting the theme of multiculturalism to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Ms Almarhoun explained, 'Ramadan is a time to clarify our intentions and check our prejudices.'

Between speeches, the Istanbul Culture and Arts Centre performed three traditional Turkish songs for the audience. 

Later on, audience members had the opportunity to share their reflections on the night's program. A guest from South Korea said that his initial negative feelings towards Muslims changed for the better after he shared dinner with a new Muslim friend that evening. 

Another guest related the hospitality of the La Trobe dinner with his recent visit to Turkey, saying, 'When I went to Istanbul, people invited me (a stranger) to tea. Now I see where AIS gets it from.' 

At the end of the evening, Inspector Christopher Large of the Victorian Police gave the vote of thanks. He noted that Melbourne's gradual acceptance of diversity was a very welcome development. His speech was followed by an exchange of gifts and then concluding remarks from AIS Executive Director Ahmet Polat


Deakin University Iftar Photos Released

The Deakin University Iftar Dinner took place at Deakin's Burwood Campus on Tuesday, 22 July 2014. More details are coming soon.


Upcoming Events

Mon Aug 25, 2014 @11:45AM - 01:45PM
Luncheon with the Lord Mayor of Melbourne
Sat Sep 06, 2014 @ 8:00AM - 12:00AM
Timeless Cities Study Tour to Turkey 2014
Wed Oct 15, 2014 @12:00AM
Luncheon with Adam Bandt, Green Party Deputy Leader
Wed Oct 29, 2014 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Australia and Turkey Dialogue Platform
Sat Dec 06, 2014 @12:00AM
2014 Anatolian Cultures and Arts Festival
Mon Dec 08, 2014 @12:00AM
"Love is a Verb" Documentary (exact date TBA)
Wed Dec 17, 2014 @ 7:30PM - 09:00PM
Whirling Dervishes 2014

Past Events, Photos, and Videos

Thu Jul 24, 2014 @ 5:00PM -
La Trobe University Iftar Dinner 2014
Tue Jul 22, 2014 @ 5:00PM - 07:30PM
Deakin University Iftar Dinner 2014
Mon Jul 21, 2014 @ 5:00PM -
Commonwealth Bank Iftar Dinner
Fri Jul 18, 2014 @ 4:45PM -
Buddhist Iftar Dinner 2014
Tue Jul 15, 2014 @ 4:30PM -
Rotary Club Iftar Dinner 2014
Thu Jul 10, 2014 @ 4:30AM -
African Communities Iftar Dinner 2014
Mon Jun 30, 2014 @ 4:30PM -
Victorian State Parliament Iftar Dinner 2014
Wed Jun 04, 2014 @11:45AM - 01:45PM
AIS Luncheon Series Presented by Jon Faine
Wed May 28, 2014 @ 7:00PM - 09:30PM
ACU Interfaith Conference - Luncheon 28 May 2014
Sat May 03, 2014 @ 8:00AM - 12:00AM
ANZAC Spirit Study Tour to Turkey 2014
Tue Apr 15, 2014 @ 7:00PM -
Glimpses of Turkey Night 2014
Mon Apr 14, 2014 @12:30PM - 03:00PM
Panel Discussion with Prof. Ihsan Yilmaz and Prof. Greg Barton - 2014
Sat Mar 22, 2014 @ 3:00PM -
Saturday BBQ 22 March
Sat Mar 15, 2014 @ 3:00PM -
Saturday BBQ 15 March
Wed Mar 05, 2014 @12:00PM - 01:45PM
Luncheon with the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission Prof. Emeritus Gillian Triggs
Sat Feb 22, 2014 @ 3:00PM - 08:00PM
Saturday BBQ 22 Feb
Sat Feb 15, 2014 @ 3:00PM - 08:00PM
Saturday BBQ 15 Feb
Thu Feb 13, 2014 @11:45AM - 01:45PM
Hon Daniel Andrews Luncheon 13 Feb 2014

Intercultural Study Tours

The AIS is organising several projects for 2014 and 2015 which include a ANZAC Spirit Study Tour. For more information on Study Tour registration and itinerary, please contact the AIS. Read more...

Ramadan Iftars

Iftar dinner programs will commence with the beginning of Ramadan. Read more...

Luncheon Forums

Luncheon forums are designed to cultivate friendship, celebrate multiculturalism, promote dialogue, social harmony and social inclusiveness and deepen intercultural awareness among the many diverse cultures of Australia. Read more...


Australian Intercultural Society organises several intercultural conferences aimed to benefit relationships between different communities. Read more...

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