“The spirit we have seen during the Houston Virtual Iftar 2020 means COVID-19 cannot defeat our resolve and efforts by the Grace of Merciful God: This year’s event is for 2,000 persons; next year our aim will be 2,500 people by the Blessings of Gracious God.”
These were the sentiments expressed by Honorable Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, as he together with several community volunteers placed food boxes in the trunks of Houstonian families, who came in large numbers in a well-organized drive-thru lanes progression.
As every year, this event is being organized by Abu Dhabi, Baku, Basrah, Istanbul & Karachi Sister City Association along with ISGH and Several Collaborating Organization Including Pakistan observer, media partner of the event.
“This Virtual Iftar is the largest Event of its kind in the USA, where actual Iftar Food is given to almost 2,000 persons at the traditional location of Bayou City Event Center, and then people go home to see the proceedings on TV & other media before breaking the fast. On behalf of the Muslim Community, I want to thank Mayor of all People of Houston Honorable Sylvester Turner & his Staff Members, especially the Director of Trade and International Affairs Mr. Chris Olson, Ms. Jessica Nego, & many collaborating organizations including volunteers said Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, President of the Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA), & chief coordinating volunteer of the event.
Houston Iftar Dinner has been happening every year since 2000, and there were chances that it will get cancelled due to COVID-19, until this idea of Virtual Iftar came, with good coordination from the City of Houston. People were asked to Pre-Register, so that proper number of food boxes, of South Asian style cuisine from Tempura Restaurant, and Mediterranean Food from Fadis’ Restaurant, can be readied.
On the day of the event Saturday, May 09, 2020, between 3pm-5pm; pre-registered participants came plus some were registered on spot to the same location as in the past few years (Bayou City Event Center); community volunteers prepared the boxes of food starting 2pm till 5pm; other volunteers with Mayor placed these boxes in the trunks of drive through cars of families; and then people went home to watch from 7:15pm-to-8:10pm Special Iftar TV transmission on City of Houston TV, Pakistani Channel TV One, abc 13 and Social media; plus at Iftar time when Aadhan was relayed on the same media, people enjoyed the Iftar Dinner; a real amazing effort.
Organizing committee of the event especially thank all the media of the Houston community for their positive input, and presence; as well as have thanked community members M. J. Khan, Murad Ajani, Ilyas Choudry, Nasru Rupani, Ruhi Ozgel, Sohail Ali, Imran Ali, Haroon Shaikh, Mian Muhammad Nazir, Dr. Hina Azam, Naheed Ahmed, Cristal Montanez, Muhammad Saad Ansari, Mariya Usmani, Abdul Rahman Badat, Mahmood Ahmed, Farah Iqbal, Kamran Jilani, Shamim Syed, Jameel Siddiqui, Tariq Khan, Najam Shaikh, and 100s of volunteers.
This years special Iftar was chiefly sponsored by Patron Syed Javaid Anwar of Midland Energy as a Grand Sponsor along with Murad Ajani President Southwest Ismaili Council of USA, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Bayou City Event Center, Ibn Sina Foundation, Rupani Foundation, HRSS (LLP), GHRA, Wallis State Bank, Islamic Relief, Sherali Haiderali, Dawoodi Bohra Community, Tajddin Momin, Ahmed Al Yasin, Shah Haleem, Deputy Sherriff Nasir Abbasi, Famous Food Products, MUNA, Sage Productions, Farooq Asmat, HNC Amusement, Asaad Siddiqui, Asim Siddiqui, Jamal Bafagih, Akhtar Abdullah, and others.