On Tuesday 12th May at the Eastern Pavilion Hall Banqueting Hall, a packed out audience of Muslims and people of other faith and no faith from all backgrounds and professionals; Headteachers to Doctors and business men and women gathered for the launch dinner of ‘Share Ramadan 2015.’
A wonderful idea set up by three local people in the heart of Oldham and is now a global phenomenon through the power of social media; A simple idea gone global using the hastag #shareramadan.
The launch dinner was attending by two renowned international speakers and community leaders. Azad Ali of Mend (Muslim Engagement and Development), who is in charge of the community engagement and development and British Muslim convert Abdur Raheem Green, the Peace TV presenter and chairman and founder of iERA, the Islamic Education and Research Academy.
Azad Ali said “It is no secret that the media has a firm grip of how Islam and Muslims are perceived. With constant negative headlines that are islamophobic lead to people having a negative image of Muslims. Share Ramadan is the ideal initiative which can help dispel the headlines and extend our unity to the masses.”
Abdur Raheem Green said “We Muslims seem to have an inferiority complex and seem to stick within our own groups and we shy away from opening our arms to the wider community. Share Ramadan is a great idea.”
Share Ramadan works in three simple steps, a Muslim challenges his work colleague, neighbour or friend of another faith or no faith to fast for one day, they then come and break the fast in the house of the person who challenged them and upload a picture or video onto social media using #shareramadan and nominate five others to do the same. This simple idea has gained momentum and last year thousands of people participated all over the work from India, Malaysia to USA and other countries. Hundreds of video diaries and pictures were uploaded onto social media.
Neil Jones a Maths teacher from the UK who took part last year and became so inspired he did it for a full week. He shared his experience at the launch dinner and said “I had Iftar at a different house each day and was nervous at first on entering a Mosque, but everyone received me very positively and were happy to see me. I feel like I am now armed with the tools to dispel any misconceptions and understand the people I work with in my work place”
Ramadan this year will start in the middle of June 2015 and the message from ‘Share Ramadan’ is that we should all put a day in our diary where we will do ‘share Ramadan’ with something of another faith or no faith, who will you invite?