Houston, Texas: As the public activities have started to transpire, for the Houstonians, beginning of Ramazan 2022 meant the exciting news that in-Person “Houston Iftar: Annual Ramazan Dinner with Mayor” is happening on April 10th, 2022, at the established picturesque Bayou City Event Center. During pandemic in 2022 and 2021, this event was held as the largest North America drive-thru & virtual iftar occasion.
This tradition of Houston started 23 years ago when around 50 persons gathered in front of the city Hall to break-fast with the Honorable Lee P. Brown. This Houston Iftar 2022 was attended by around 2,000 persons, and everyone enjoyed the candid talks, spiritual messages, inspirational supplications, sumptuous Iftar & Dinner, and together established the Mughrib Prayers.Several Elected officials and over a dozen of Consul Generals including Consul General Abrar Hashmi of Pakistan, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Korea, Indonesia& others participated.
The Keynote Speaker Mayor Sylvester Turner, who was introduced by the Chief Patron of the event Philanthropist and Entrepreneur Syed Javaid Anwar of Midland Energy. Honorable Mayor Sylvester Turner highly appreciated Syed Javaid Anwar for his most generous contributions towards the Houston Iftar and US society at large; especially as he unites Republicans & Democrats. He said Houston indeed has diversity is an asset; but it is truly strong when we have Diverse and Inclusive.Mayor Turner added that 7 federally declared catastrophes in the past 6 years have meant many people are living at the margins; and they need all our prayers during this blessed moment so Ramazan.
Through courtesy of Syed Javaid Anwar, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott sent special video recorded message of greetings, deliberation, and tranquility.
Every yearfor the past 12 years, this event is diligently organized by Abu Dhabi, Baku, Basrah, Istanbul, and Karachi Sister City Associations of Houston, along with The Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), The Ismaili Council for Southwestern US,Dawoodi Bohra Jamat,and esteemed 50+ collaborating organizations.
Houston Iftar 2022 was ably emceed by young Sister Nadeen Mustafa. Proceedings got started with recitation of Quran by Imam of Turkish Center Houston; followed by National Anthem of USA presented by a University of Houston student.Everyone was warmly welcomed by Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the Houston Iftar 2022NasruddinRupani of IbnSina Community Clinics, and Coordinator Muhammad Saeed Sheikh of the Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA). They especially thanked Mayor, Congressman AL Green, Elected Officials, and the many Heads of the Diplomatic Missions in Houston, for their presence in large number.
NasruddinRupani of IbnSina Community Clinics amidst ovations informed that Institute has taken care of more than 1 million patients.
Honorable Congressperson AL Green gifted to the Organizing Committee “Flag of USA that was flown at the Capitol of USA”; as an appreciation to the Houston Iftar 2022 Committee for bringing together people of diverse background. “We need Unity without Uniformity in the US: It is important”: Added Honorable Congressperson AL Green.
President of ISGH Ayman Kabire in his speech said Muslim community is indebted to all the elected officials to have supported during pandemic & all other calamities; and we have tried our best to assist our neighbors in the larger society.
Guest Speaker of the evening was Shaykh Kamal EL Mekki, who is dubbed as the Black Belt of Dawah (outreaching with the true message of Islam); spoke about the true essence of Ramazan, as it brings in persons traits of patience, perseverance, and empathy.
Shaykh Kamal EL Mekki added: “Real reason of Ramazan is to Connect with the Lord of the Universes; The Most Merciful: Some people worship, and others help humanity, but without properly connecting to God: 8% of the year is Ramazan to give our best to become disciplined by controlling our desires & not be controlled by our desires.”
Shaykh Kamal EL Mekki was earlier introduced by Former City of Houston Councilperson and Former President of ISGH MasrurJaved Khan, who also mentioned about the need of lessening of tensions & violence across the globe;the imbalanced allocation of resources & wealth; and the need to stand for good & stop evil.
Following the motivational supplications by Imam Mohammad Ahmad Khan of Maryam Masjid, and Aadhan by young Aquib Gazi, around 2,000 enjoyed the Iftar and Dinner prepared sumptuously by Tempura Restaurant & Catering; Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill; Sweet Factory of Houston; and nice assorted beverages by Famous Food. Everything was nicely served by Ismaeli Muslim Volunteers of Houston.
Houston Texas is one of our nation’s most internationally diversified cities and over many decades now Mayors of the City, including the present Mayor Honorable Sylvester Turner have kept this as one of their administration’s top priorities.The Muslim community has been very active in Business, Government, Cultural, Social, and Charitable areas; and continues to contribute to make this one of the best places to live.
This Houston Iftar with Mayor 2022 event brought the different fragrance & colors of the bouquet of various communities of Houston getting together, and many said they will be eagerly waiting for the next one in 2023. For more information please visit: www.houstoniftar.org / email: [email protected]; or call 281-948-1840.