The United States Embassy and the regional Islamic Community took a historic step in cementing ties of friendship when Ambassador Mary Ourisman hosted an Iftaar banquet for Muslim leaders at her official residence.
An Iftaar (dinner) is a traditional Islamic breaking of the fast performed every evening during the holy month of Ramadan.
The event, the first ever hosted by a U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, was attended by Muslim leaders from Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and Nevis.
In her welcome remarks to her guests, Ambassador Ourisman noted that it was an honor to host the Iftaar and expressed the hope that it becomes a yearly event.
“One of our country’s greatest strengths is the diversity and richness of our many religious traditions: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people of many faiths, and even some of no religious affiliation at all live together peacefully and in a climate of mutual respect,” the Ambassador said.
Ambassador Ourisman added: “On this special evening we recognize our Muslim friends in the Eastern Caribbean. We celebrate the millions of Muslims we are proud to call American citizens. We honor the many Islamic nations that America is proud to call friends. And we renew the ties of friendship that should bind all who trace their faith back to God’s call on Abraham.”
Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association Sulieman Bulbulia noted that the event was a “special and significant gesture” and marked a “defining moment in the establishment of what we hope will be a mutually beneficial relationship between your embassy and us.”