Four Faiths Break Bread Together For Peace In The Holy Land

Abrahamic Reunion’s 14th Annual Multifaith Ramadan Peace Dinner Attracts Over 265 To Druze Village

June 7th, 2018
By Anna Less Executive Director
Edited with contributions by Chris Miller

LAST NIGHT, the Abrahamic Reunion held its annual multifaith Iftar celebration in the Druze Village of Daliat El Carmel, the largest and southernmost Druze town in Israel.

The Druze community formally received everyone as they arrived – creating a line of greeters welcoming participants into the decorated hall full of delicious food – lamb, fish, chicken, salads, and sweets.

Even though 175 people had been invited, over 265 people ended up coming, filling every chair and table to capacity in the large community center.

All four major faiths in Israel participated in nearly equal numbers.

According to Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, the International director of the Abrahamic Reunion:

This year we succeeded in making a complete Iftar – and they wrote about it on social media – because all four faiths were there with us.  Many people have multi faith Iftars but no one else succeeded in having all four faiths. There were people from all levels of society: we had intellectuals, writers, poets, scientists, politicians, journalists, religious leaders…many, many kinds of people arrived this time.

From every place they came – it was so nice for us to have all of them, and so beautiful…if you look at the first line of people sitting there were Druze Sheikhs, Muslim Sheikhs, Jewish Rabbis, Christian Fathers and Deacons, Alhamdulillah (All praise and thanks to God).

Prior to eating, a number of speakers spoke in Hebrew and in Arabic about the brotherhood of humanity in this region. They spoke about harmony, connection, and how to reduce radicalism and interreligious tensions.

Some of the eminent speakers included:

  • Sheikh Muwaffak Tarīf – The Head of the Druze Community in Israel
  • Rafik Halabi – The Head of the Municipality of Daliat El Carmel
  • Ron Shapiro – Haifa District Court Judge
  • Imam Samir Assi – the Imam of the Al-Jazaar Mosque in Akko
  • Rabbi Dahlia Shaham – of the Ohel Avraham Congregation and Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa
  • Siham Halibi – who together with Sheikh Abed Manasra organized this event on behalf of the Abrahamic Reunion
  • Ghassan Manasra – the International Director of the Abrahamic Reunion
  • Sheikh Helmi Hamad – of the Qadiri Sufi Order provided the Adhan for the Maghrib Prayer prior to the Iftar

During the meal itself one could see at each table Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians eating, sharing, laughing and discussing together.

Especially because of these troubled times in the Holy Land, people took great comfort and reassurance in coming together and affirming their commitment to mutual understanding and a peaceful co-existence.

The Abrahamic Reunion extends a special thank you to Siham Halibi, Sheikh Abed Manasra, and the Druze community for organizing and hosting this event.

Above: Sheikh Ghassan addresses the assembly    

Ramadan Message from Sheikh Ghassan Manasra

“What is the meaning of Ramadan this year for the Abrahamic Reunion? It is the harmony and connection of the human being. Ramadan – is the name of the month, it’s not the act of the fast – because we all fast. The Druze fast in Ramadan with us, but the Christians they also fast, and the Jews, they also fast – but they all came to celebrate a different kind of fasting with us in Daliat El Carmel. The deep meaning of the fast, this year, it was not only to stop to eat, it was also to stop to hate, to stop to fight, to stop to shout, to stop to kill, to stop to create bad things, and this year it was the fasting from every bad thing. This is the event of the Abrahamic Reunion – the harmony between all the people, love between all people.

When I looked to speak there, and I looked at the people, I saw a very beautiful garden full of lots of colors, and full of a beautiful fragrance. And I thought to myself: If you want to see all the colors and smell all the fragrance, you need to bring all the people together – It is our responsibility to do this work as the Abrahamic Reunion.

I’m speaking with you, but I’m not quiet right now, because tomorrow we have another Iftar – and we are very much in preparation for it now. Insh’allah (God willing) we will have an amazing and very great event with people from all levels of society tomorrow in the West Bank.”

Stay tuned for news about the Abrahamic Reunions’s next Multi-faith Iftar in the Holy Land, which will be hosted in Jericho on Friday June 8th, more photos, and videos from the 2018 Iftar Peace Dinners in the Holy Land. 

It’s not to late to donate in support of the AR’s Iftar Peace dinners!

Both of these events have a combined budget of about $18,000. This includes renting large busses, food for 450, getting adequate banquet spaces, paying our peace-building project managers, flying Sheikh Ghassan and Anna to the Holy Land, photography, and many other expenses that make the event successful.

A $100 donation will cover 3 people, $1000 will cover 33, and $10,000 will cover either dinner, start to finish, from planning to reporting. All this money will be spent on these programs in the Holy Land. Please give.

With Deep Thanks,

Please consider supporting the Abrahamic Reunion and all the bridge-making, peace-building, and grassroots multi-faith networking that it creates with a recurring monthly donation.

How To Donate

  • Online in America: Click Here
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To read more about the Abrahamic Reunion see these links below