Friday, July 26, 2013

Unity and community


A MOMENT OF PRAYER: Iftar observance celebration

Iftar, one of the religious observances of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, has been celebrated by the MGH community for the last 12 years. On July 16, more than 225 Muslim patients, staff, family and friends gathered in the Thier Conference Room for the 13th annual sunset ceremony, the communal breaking of the daily fast.

Firdosh Pathan, RPh, of the MGH Pharmacy, who helped plan the event, said many Muslim MGH employees are recent immigrants without family or friends in this country. The event provides an opportunity for them to observe Ramadan with other Muslims while making friends and establishing a sense of community. “Muslim staff take pride in showcasing the MGH to their children, family and friends to show how wonderful it is to work in a place where they are accepted by celebrating their religious event,” Pathan said. “I cannot describe the feeling of happiness in the crowd – being accepted and acknowledged here in America. The Iftar event is a living proof that at the MGH diversity lives and works.”

Welcoming guests were MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, and Rabbi Ben Lanckton, of the MGH Chaplaincy, who also was fasting – for Tisha B’Av, a major fast day of the Jewish year – and he broke his fast with the Muslim community. Lanckton read a special message reminding those in attendance that Jews and Muslims are brothers and children of the same prophet Abraham. Sunset prayer was led by Imam Talal Eid, ThD, MGH Muslim chaplain. The evening’s traditional Middle Eastern food was provided by MGH Nutrition and Food Services.  n

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