MELA is proud to be working with partners as part of the Great Get Together on Sunday 18 June businesses, organisations and faith institutions along the Moseley Road are planning a ground-breaking ‘Street Iftar’
Hundreds of people and organisations from across Balsall Heath will be coming together for the first time this Sunday to break the Ramadan fast (iftar) in a ‘Street Iftar’, celebrating the life of Jo Cox as part of the nationwide Great Get Together.
Over 110,000 Great Get Together events are taking place across the UK this weekend, as part of a celebration of Jo Cox’s life and legacy – one year on since she was murdered by a white supremacist – and bringing together communities around what they have most in common.
“The Street Iftar is designed to bring all members of Balsall Heath together regardless of cultural or religious background and to animate the Moseley Road as a new meeting place for both sides of the neighbourhood,” said Noha Nasser, Director of MELA Social Enterprise who is organising the event.
“This is the first time partners along the Moseley Road have united in solidarity to plan this type of event and to take their interfaith work out into the public space for everyone to participate.
“We hope the Street Iftar will kickstart an annual intercultural and interfaith event where Balsall Heath can unite to break bread together. It is the start of the regeneration of the Moseley Road as a key meeting place for the neighbourhood,” she said.
In excess of 500 people are expected at the event, which starts 8.30pm in the Kwik Fit Car park on Moseley Road, Balsall Heath. There will be short talks from friends of many faiths, networking games, food and entertainment stalls.
“With so much confusion, uncertainty and hate swirling around our world, this event is a recognition of the strength of our unity and a reminder that love will always prevail,” said [Hasanain Jaffer] from KSIMC of Birmingham at the Clifton Road Mosque.
“What better way to celebrate this then sharing a meal with your neighbours, your friends and your community. Muslim Students House Mosque is delighted to be part of this fantastic initiative,” said Arfan Sharif from Muslim Student House.
Ridhi Kalaria, of Ort Gallery, added: “We are an artist-led exhibition space in Balsall Heath, with a social mission to facilitate dialogue in the community. We know Balsall Heath is very rich in culture, experience and community spirit and we want to celebrate that diversity.”
“We always promise a warm welcome to everyone and this iftar in Balsall Heath is the perfect example of our community coming together. It’s the first time Moseley Road organisations have worked together on a project of this scale. Our whole community is showing that together we are so much stronger,” said Aysha Iqbal, Odara Wellbeing [a company/business].
Cllr Lisa Trickett, of Birmingham City Council, added: “Balsall Heath is a very special neighbourhood within Birmingham. It is a community and place that has been shaped by its very diverse and distinct communities that call it home, those whose daily lives pass through or play a part in the life of the community.
“I’m so glad that the community has again come together to mark Jo Cox’s life and evidence to the city and world at large that we truly do have more in common than what divides us.”
Please join us if you can. Our programme is:
8:45pm A short recitation from Qur’an
Welcome speech by Dr Noha Nasser, Coordinator, Moseley Street Iftar and Founding Director, MELA Social Enterprise.
Compere, Mahmooda Qureshi, Hope Not Hate
8.50pm ‘Get To Know Each Other’ Game
9.15pm Short talks by:
Friends from different faith backgrounds
Sajeda Sajan short talk on Ramadhan
1 minute personal reflections
9.32 Prayer for peace and unity, Sheikh Mahmood Khattab al-Fozi and end with Adhan (call to prayer)
Maghrib prayer led by Sheikh Mahmood
Food is served from 8.30pm and Muslims will break their fast at 9.33pm
Thank you to the following organisations for their generous support and volunteering in making the event happen: KSIMC of Birmingham, Muslim Student House, Odara Wellbeing, Ort Gallery, Near Neighbours, Hope Not Hate, Unity FM, The Big Iftar, Nisa-Nashim, Sparkbrook Masjid and Islamic Centre, UK Islamic Mission, Love Your Neighbour, and The Great Get Together.
Thank you to the following organisations for their donations: Kwik Fit, Saba Persian Restaurant, Gymmy Healthy Grill, DFC, Zafs, Just Desserts, Big Saj Original, SMS Supermarket, and Money Saver Supermarket
Join us on Sunday 1 October 2017 11am to 4pm for MELA’s next event on the Moseley Road, Big Heart Balsall Heath Community Market: an exchange of culture, creativity, and conversations.