School welcomes community to celebrate Ramadan Iftar – breaking fast


School welcomes community to celebrate Ramadan Iftar - breaking fast

More than 100 people from different faiths took part in a special event to celebrate Ramadan Iftar - breaking fast - at a multi-cultural primary school in Cardiff.

During Ramadan, St Monica's CW Primary School in Cathays held their own Iftar, welcoming families from the community to the breaking of the fast meal at sunset.

More than 100 Muslims, Christians and people of other faiths attended the event in the school where classrooms were turned into prayer rooms and rooms for reflection.

Tanvier Ahmed, who is a new governor for the school, a member of the Muslim Council for Wales and a volunteer at the Dar-ul-Isra Mosque in Cathays, made the call to prayer as the sun set.

The fast was broken with soup, dates and yoghurt and everyone then went to different rooms to pray, observe others at prayer or reflect quietly on their own.

Families brought a wide range of their favourite dishes to share with everyone and there were also donations from Dar-ul-Isra Mosque and Kasturi Restaurant.

When people felt ready, they came together in the school hall to eat.

Cllr Sarah Merry, Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, joined in the breaking fast celebrations at the school as did Cllr Christopher Weaver, Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance.

 Cllr Merry said: "I think the Iftar was a tremendous idea and it was wonderful to see so many people from the community taking part in the special event.

 "When you think of all the tragic events that have happened over the past few weeks, occasions that bring our community together feel all the more precious."

St Monica's CW Primary School headteacher, Mrs Abi Beacon, said: "The Iftar was a wonderful event to bring everyone linked with St Monica's together in fellowship. It was a privilege to join with members of the school community during such a special occasion."

Mrs Beacon said the school had worked closely with the local faith community, Christian and Muslim, to help widen understanding about faith, culture and customs and had also held multi-faith prayer events and reflection days following terror attacks around the world.

Mrs Beacon added: "I am profoundly grateful that I live in a country where similarities and differences can be celebrated - Christian or Muslim - where the same values of respect, reverence, peace, friendship and hope are shared."

A total of 23 languages are currently spoken in the school and 67% of pupils speak English as an additional language. 58% of pupils are Christian, 31% are Muslim and there are also children who follow other faiths such as Buddhist or Sikh and some children who do not identify with a faith.