STAFF from Together Housing joined residents in Halifax and Blackburn for a day of fasting to show solidarity with their Muslim colleagues and neighbours during the holy month of Ramadan.
After fasting from sunrise, staff from Together Housing joined colleagues from Halifax Central Initiative and residents at Queens Road Neighbourhood Centre in Halifax and representatives from One Voice and residents at Bangor Street Community Centre in Blackburn to share their experiences of the day before breaking their fasts with a meal after sundown.
The events saw guest speakers, including community ambassador Faz Patel MBE, talk about how Ramadan can bring people of all faiths together in the spirit of friendship and charity.
“Although I’m not religious, I decided to fast for a day for two reasons,” said Ian Clark, Together Housing’s group director of strategy and communications. “The first was to understand the self-discipline and sacrifice my Muslim colleagues apply during Ramadan. I struggled fasting just for one day, so this gave me a real insight into how they manage their days for a full lunar month.
“The second reason is that Ramadan is a time for reflection, and empathy for those less fortunate than us. I was hungry out of choice, but too many people are hungry because they live in poverty and simply can’t afford regular meals.”
Tahir Idris, equality and diversity manager, added: “I was so moved at how my non-Muslim colleagues fasted for 18 hours, on what turned out to be a hot, sunny day, to show their solidarity and support. What came out loud and clear was how fasting helps us focus on the bigger things in life but also how our values were so similar, whatever our beliefs.”
Main Image: Janette Pearce and Daniel Klemm from Together Housing Group being served by Waseem Hussain from Halifax Central Initiative.