Executive Director’s Ramadan 2022 Message

Sharing is a noble human virtue. When done by many people, it’s heralded as an ideal characteristic. For many Muslims, the month of Ramadan is an opportunity to reinvigorate their faith – both spiritually and socially. The spiritual aspect is a personal endeavour to head towards asceticism and seek the divine bounties available during the sacred month, while acting as a good stead for the remainder of the year. The social aspect is about connecting with others and purveying the bounties you have with those around you. It’s a time for sharing.

Sharing, means imparting what is in your heart and mind with others. It’s about seeking commonalities that define our existence and the way we perceive the world. This Ramadan truly embodied the spirit of sharing, not only with the sharing of food, stories and values, but also sharing significant events celebrated by the Abrahamic traditions. The overlapping of Ramadan, Easter and Passover marked a special moment, acting as a reminder for us to seek our common humanity, our collective experience and realise our future is brighter when we are harmonised in unity. This acts as a beacon; lighting the way for everyone to be optimistic about what lies ahead, while cautiously working towards this shared vision.

It is due to this aspiration that we work in unison, creating an ideal that we can strive towards. Collectively we are stronger, while a fragmented society will further divide our hearts. That’s why when Prof Marcia Langton AO spoke at the 16th VIC Parliament Iftar dinner, she spoke from her heart. A heart that is firmly connected to the land which her ancestors nurtured for 60,000 years. She reminded us about the importance of human interaction and its vitality in establishing respect, understanding and acceptance for generations to come.

We were also presented with the opportunity to hear the struggles of outstanding individuals at The VIC Bar Iftar, who are doing their utmost to promote respect by harnessing the power of the law. The Media Iftar dinner saw the addressing of the challenge society faces when demagogues use religion and nationalism as a commodity to further extend their expediency and longevity. The Iftar dinner at Deakin University and the Eid dinner at the University of Melbourne were prime examples of where our common humanity brought us closer together, sharing the fundamental task of breaking bread together, irrespective of position and worldly outlook.

There is only one world and we must cherish it. We need to extend the invitation of coexistence and harmony to those who yearn to be accepted, valued and respected. We all need to speak the language of acceptance and inclusion. Sometimes this language is best communicated through activities such as football, as is the case of the One World cup, or through the collective planting of trees via a tree planting program.

Needless to say, our time together is precious. Just as all of our parents and guardians wanted a brighter future for us, let us now do both them and our future generations justice by passing on the torch for a safe and prosperous future. Let us share this world, where the future of hope is lit ablaze for those journeying in our footsteps.

 

Ahmet Keskin

Executive Director 

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