Ramadan Interfaith Iftar Dinner, Southampton

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 19:00 in Community Engagement
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Where:18 Augustine Road, Southampton, SO14 0PL

Speakers

  • Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Elizabeth Mizon
  • Sandra Gisley MP
  • Inspector Chris Kirby

Abstract

Dialogue Society organises annual dialogue dinners and meetings with people from a wide variety of ethnic traditions. Ramadan is a month when the relationships within and outside the community are strengthened by fasting and breaking the fast.

To reinforce the friendship, and dialog between diverse communities, we gather in the intercultural dinners during Ramadan with people from all walks of life of varied communities and faith groups to emphasize on the values such as mutual understanding, deep respect, love, and peace.

This year, the Iftar dinner in Southampton was focused on interfaith dialogue. The evening began with a short welcome speech by our Chairman followed by a presentation of Dialogue Society. The speeches have started with Mayor of Southampton Cllr Elizabeth Mizon and then followed by Mrs. Sandra Gisley MP about interfaith dialogue and community cohesion.

When it was time to break the fast, guests were listened to the Azan (call to prayer) and served with a traditional Turkish Iftar dinner. After the dinner, the speeches have continued with Inspector Chris Kirby.

The event has ended with the comments from the guests and the closing speech.

Biography of Cllr Elizabeth Mizon

Cllr Elizabeth Mizon became the 787th Mayor of Southampton on 13 May 2009 following her term as Sheriff of the city. She first came to Southampton from Lancashire in 1967 to take up her first teaching appointment which was at Weston Park Junior School. After leaving the city to get married she then taught in Oxford and London but returned when her husband took a post at Southampton University. Whilst her children were small she was involved with the community play school, was a governor of two Southampton schools and the School Governor Training Co-coordinator. She lived in Australia, America, and Italy. She elected as Councillor for Bassett in 2002.

Biography of Sandra Gidley MP

Sandra Gidley is Liberal Democrat MP of Romsey. She was elected in 2000. She is now Shadow Health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats. Sandra is a qualified pharmacist and became a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 2008. Before becoming an MP she managed a busy pharmacy store. Born in Wales, she was educated at Eggars Grammar School in Alton, Hampshire; the Afcent International School in Brunssum, Netherlands; and the Windsor School in Hamm, Germany. Sandra took her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Bath in 1978 and worked as a pharmacist and pharmacy manager from 1990 until her election to Westminster in 2000. Sandra joined the Liberal Democrats in 1994 and was elected as a councillor to the Test Valley Borough Council in 1995. In 1997 Sandra became the youngest female Mayor of Romsey, and in 2000 she was elected to the House of Commons at a by-election following the death of the Conservative MP, Michael Colvin

Biography of Inspector Chris Kirby

Chris Kirby has been a leader in the Basingstoke Community Churches for 31 years and is presently Chair of the Alliance of Basingstoke Churches. Having trained as a research physicist, he arrived in Basingstoke with his wife and two young children in 1978 to work with Vickers Medical, expecting to stay in the town for about two years! He now has two grandchildren by his son.

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