Pearl of the Islands Foundation Inc. (PIF) co-hosted its second Iftar dinner with the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Al-Hikmah Trust on the 22nd of April 2021. Over 80 distinguished guests attended comprising mainly of academics and community/religious leaders from various ethnicities and backgrounds.
Ms Tayyaba Khan, Founder & 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 the ‘Call to Prayer’ announced by Mohamed Soliman, which marks the time when Muslims ‘break their fast’. A rich buffet was served. Quran recitation followed the dinner break.
Welcome speeches were conducted by the co-hosts, Dr Andrew Codling (Head of Vice-Chancellor’s Office at AUT), Dr Sahib Rasulov (Community Engagement Coordinator at PIF), and Sheikh Rafat Najm (AUT Muslim Chaplain, Al-Hikmah Trust).
Professor Edwina Pio, AUT Director of Diversity, 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 experiences and were conducted by Dr Zain Ali, Ms Ruth Cleaver, Ms Najira Khanam.
Ms Pauline Cornwell provided the vote of thanks. She finished her remarks by urging us to continue loving and accepting one another.
Pif presented with gifts of appreciation to the co-hosts and keynote speaker of the evening.