For the very first time this year, Human Appeal International Australia sponsored Ramadan Iftar dinners at a number of Sydney schools including Birrong Boys High School, Belmore Boys High School, Homebush Boys High School and Unity Grammar College.
The events were a great success with more than one thousand people in attendance. Although Human Appeal is mainly focussed on fighting poverty and providing relief aid around the world, it is also actively and consistently involved within the local community.
The Iftar dinners were not restricted to only those of the Islamic faith but were used as opportunities to share meals with people of diverse background and beliefs.
The events included talks by school principals or their representatives and local government and community officials who spoke of the need to celebrate and share experiences together.
Talks were given by Jason Clare MP, Dr Zachariah Matthews (Deen Academy), Darren Stevens (Birrong Boys HS principal), John Kennedy (Homebush Boys HS principal), Hala Ramadan (Belmore Boys High School principal), Osman Karolia (Unity Grammar College deputy principal), Murat Dizdar (Executive Director Public Schools NSW) Chris Charles (Department of Education) and Kamal Saleh (spoken word poet).
Issam Chaouk, HAI Director of Projects and Omar Al-Jamal, HAI Public Relations Manager represented and spoke on behalf of Human Appeal International Australia.
Mr Chaouk highlighted the importance of the Iftar dinners to educate young people about charity and the need to pay back to the community. He explained that the main reason for sponsoring the school events was to honour fasting students and their families and to share the experience with the wider school communities.
A short video of Human Appeal’s humanitarian work overseas was also shown at these events
As a part of the these programmes the acclaimed international singer from Syria, Yahya Hawwa performed a number of traditional songs of praise and prayer.
At Birrong Boys High School dinner he sang a song drawing warm praise from the audience when he invited some students to join him on stage to sing along in chorus.
Invited guests at the dinner included Ms Judy McKay MP, Ms Sophie Cotsis MLC and Ms Jan Green from Department of Education.
Iftar event coordinator at Birrong Boys HighSchool, Souhair Harris said “It was an honour for me to be able to bring our diverse and rich communities together in an inviting and relaxed atmosphere to share the break of fast and to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.
“This is the first time the School has held a function of this size and our thank go to Human Appeal for their sponsorship and we are delighted to showcase the efforts to raise funds to sponsor a water well in a needy country”, She proudly added.
Human Appeal International Australia is proud to be involved with events that celebrate multiculturalism by bringing people of different backgrounds together in the spirit of sharing and caring. Australia is indeed blessed to be a leading example of harmonious diversity and social inclusion.