The Australian Intercultural Society (AIS) and the African Think Tank (ATT) co-hosted the African Communities Iftar Dinner at Melbourne’s Sofitel Hotel on Thursday; 10 July 2014. About 250 people attended this year’s dinner; which took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The purpose of the dinner was to build bridges; break stereotypes; and work towards creating a more cohesive; inclusive and harmonious society in Victoria.
Introduced by Judge Ian Gray; the event featured speeches from Andrew Elsbury MLC; member for the Western Metropolitan Region; Ken Lay; chief commissioner of Victoria Police; John Searle; chairperson of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission; and Chin Tan; chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission
Other speakers included Dr Berhan Ahmed; chairperson of ATT; Ahmet Polat; executive director of AIS; Dr Cahit Guven; lecturer in economics at Deakin University; and Ergun Kirmaci; president of AIS. John Watkin; Senior Manager Game Development at Cricket Australia; provided the vote of thanks.
The adhan; or Muslim call to prayer; was given by Yasseen Musa; the 2013 Multicultural Ambassador of the Year. Salah Musa; a student at Swinburne University; recited several verses from the Quran. Wael Mohamed composed and presented an excellent poem titled ‘Justice’.
Injera specialist Karim Degal was the evening’s master of ceremonies.
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