Pearl of the Islands Foundation Inc. (PIF) co-hosted its third Iftar dinner with the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) on the 26th of April 2022. Over 80 distinguished guests attended comprising mainly of academics and community/religious leaders from various ethnicities and backgrounds.
Ms Farhana Bhamjee, CEO of Khadija Leadership Network, was the Master of Ceremony. Dr Valance Smith, Assistant Pro-Vice-Chancellor at AUT, provided the Karakia to open the evening. This was followed by a call to prayer “Ethan” announced by Mr Naim Yasim, which marks the time when Muslims “break they’re fast.” A rich buffet was served. Quran recitation followed the dinner break.
Welcome speeches were conducted by the co-hosts, Prof. Edwina Pio (AUT Director of Diversity) and Dr Sahib Rasulov (Community Engagement Coordinator at PIF). Sheikh Rafat Najm ( AUT Muslim Chaplain, Al-Hikmah Trust), gave the keynote speech on the night.
A variety of desserts were served including Turkish Baklava which was followed by floor reflections. These reflections allowed guests to share their thoughts and experience and were conducted by Dr Janine Irvine, Sara Youssef and Dr Andrew Codling.
Prof. Edwina Pio provided the vote of thanks. She finished her remarks by urging us to continue loving and accepting each other.
PIF presented gifts of appreciation to the co-hosts and keynote speaker of the evening.