Inter-faith potluck serves up great food & good vibesWritten by Staff Writer
Great food and good cheer were on offer at an inter-faith potluck held in Kanata on February 26.
Well-attended by over 25 members of the Kanata Muslim Association (KMA) and a comparable number from the St. John's Anglican Church, the first-time event was a huge success.
Members of the KMA had been renting the St. John's church hall for several years for Friday and Ramadan prayers. But when the numbers got too big, the KMA had to move their prayers to the Kanata Recreation Centre. The potluck was a way for the KMA and the church members to foster and grow the relationship that had already started to blossom from that earlier relationship, explained Amira Elghawaby, a member of the Kanata Sisters women's group who coordinated the event on behalf of the KMA.
“One of the church ladies suggested having a potluck with the two communities and we thought it would be a lovely idea to better get to know one another,” said Ms. Elghawaby. “When we floated the idea, several dedicated ladies from our Kanata Sisters group jumped at the idea and worked hard to make it happen.”
Dishes from all over the world were presented at the afternoon potluck held at the Mlacak halls in Beaverbrook. Biryani rice, soups, samosas, stuffed grape leaves, salads and a myriad of other delectable treats enticed both appetites and hearty conversations. Children had their own special program with activities and their own menu so that parents could get comfortable and really get to know their neighbours.
“Our parishioners were most impressed with the warm welcome we received and it was a wonderful opportunity for getting to know each other better over all the delicious food prepared for the occasion,” wrote Dr. Phyllis M. Paryas, Deputy People's Warden of the church in a thank-you note to the KMA.
City councillor Marianne Wilkinson, also a congregant of the St. John's Church, made a brief appearance in a show of support.
She too thanked the organizers for the event and encouraged more inter-faith events between all communities in Ottawa.
The event was commenced with a brief recitation from the Holy Quran by a young seventh-grade student named Ayesha Blanchard Khan. She first recited in Arabic, and then offered the English translation of the following verse: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with God is that believer who has piety. Verily, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”
The young lady returned at the end of the event to thank everyone for attending and hoped for more opportunities for inter-faith dialogue and camaraderie.
Members of the Muslim community also expressed their appreciation at the opportunity to get to know the church members.
“Congrats on putting this event together for the community,masha Allah,” said Farah Amir in an email to the organizers. “We had the chance to meet some lovely neighbours and share some delicious food, and the kids enjoyed their program.”
“The event yesterday was great, masha Allah, very well planned and executed,” wrote Nadine El-Hawary.
Organizers say they hope the potluck will become an annual tradition.
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