Tens of Christian and Muslim clerics and other community leaders attended an Iftar“breaking of the fast” gathering at sundown during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which was sponsored by Al-Liqa and Sabeel centers.
Prior to the Iftar, H.B. Patriarch Michel Sabbah welcomed the people and spoke of the present tragic developments in Gaza. He concluded his remarks by stressing that we will not be defeated because we are defending our right to live with freedom and dignity despite the fact that the Israelis possess the most advanced destructive arms. We are determined to live despite despair and fear of the future.
Sheikh Maher Assaf followed with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek and Dr. Geries S. Khoury then welcomed the attendees. Rev. Ateek stressed the importance of the gathering because it deepens our national identity, our belief in God, and our right to live. Dr. Khoury also stressed national unity in face of the extremism in the Arab world.
We discussed the main theme, “Are the Joint Iftars Contributing to Shared Living?” This followed with commentators stressing the importance of this annual traditional gathering which makes us more familiar with our spiritual legacy and religious traditions. The youth group of Al-Liqa also took part in the discussion.
In addition, the attendees condemned Israeli air raids on our people in Gaza and appealed to all those of conscience in the world to resist this aggression. Likewise, the gathering condemned the barbaric occupation practices against our people in the West Bank and appealed to international organizations and human rights associations to put an end to the killing of women, children and the elderly. Despite all of this, our people will continue to sacrifice until our goal of liberty, independence and obtaining a state of our own is realized.