Charity in Kilburn hosts Ramadan street event

Volunteers from Rumi's Kitchen in Queens Park held a street 'itfar' feeding 250 people for free as p

Volunteers from Rumi's Kitchen in Queens Park held a street 'itfar' feeding 250 people for free as part of Ramadan - Credit: Archant

A charity in Kilburn which helps the homeless held their first Ramadan street event to “connect hearts, minds and communities”.

Rumi’s Cave, part of the UK Albanian Centre, held its ‘Community Street Iftar’ event at the Kosovan mosque in Canterbury Road, to share the spirit of Ramadan.

Thirty volunteers came together to cook and serve a free three course meal to 250 guests, including homeless people, from all faiths and cultural backgrounds.

Muslims fast for 30 consecutive days during the holy month Ramadan, from dawn until sunset. The fasts are a reflective and spiritual time for the whole community community.

It is seen as a time of learning to harbour better thoughts, actions and practices and also a time to emulate those in need and identify their daily struggle, said organisers.

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One guest at the iftar said: “It was a lovely meal and a I was made to feel very welcome. I have been coming to the soup kitchen for close to a year and have always been treated with love and respect by the wonderful people who cook for us. This is the first ‘iftar’ I have been to and really enjoyed the evening.”

Aminah Babikir, Rumi’s director and outreach co-ordinator, said: “The initial intention behind Rumi’s Kitchen was about more than just serving hot food. It was about the empowerment of the guests and the quality of the food and service being delivered.

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“Rather than being served in a hurry and distributed in containers to be handed out, our volunteers treat guests to an experience many of us take for granted, dining in a restaurant. We believe it is this level of service that separates Rumi’s Kitchen from many food banks.”

Rexhep Bajraktari, managing director, UK Albanian Community and Cultural Centre said: “Organising a community iftar and sharing a meal together is a way for us to thank our neighbours and welcome those passing by to ask questions and find out more about Ramadan. We want to remove barriers that may exist within our neighbourhood and open our doors to people from all faiths and cultural backgrounds.”

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