How to Achieve Meaningful Dialogue

Tue, 02 Oct 2007 00:00 in Discussion Forums

Where: Ramada Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Ozcan Keles, Director of the Dialogue Society, gave a speech at the Annual Ramadan Fast-Breaking Dinner at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, organised by the Northern Ireland Dialogue Society.

The event hosted more than a hundred and forty distinguished guests at a cross-cultural gala feast on October 2nd to mark the holy month of Ramadan. The Society was delighted to welcome top-ranking police officers, MLAs, councillors from across the political spectrum, and many of the Province’s leading Christian, Jewish and Muslim figures to the banquet, held at the Ramada Hotel.

The dinner was a celebration of the Province’s newfound ethnic and religious diversity, with a focus on building links amongst Northern Ireland’s colourfully diverse communities, and between people of different faiths.

The chairman of the Northern Ireland Dialogue Society, said:

  • The month of Ramadan is a time for reflection, prayer, charity and spending time with family and friends. We are honoured to have had such an unprecedented response to our invitations, from so many people from such diverse backgrounds.
  • It’s our eager hope that everyone from all religious backgrounds can come together in friendship and community, and to remember what we all share in common.

Naomi Long MLA, chair of Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Unit, said:

  • This is a good opportunity for people of different faiths to come together, increase understanding, promote religious freedom and foster good relations in our community.
  • It is particularly encouraging to see Faith Communities taking the lead on these important issues.

The evening featured speeches by Mr Ozcan Keles from the London-based Dialogue Society, Mr Arlington Trotman BD MPhil AKC – Director of Diversity Training & Management Consultancy, Ms Katy Radford – The Executive Council of Belfast Jewish Community, Ms Anna LO - MP Alliance Party and Mr Drew Haire from OFMDFM Community Relations Unit.

The event was supported by the Community Relations Council, the Belfast City Council and PSNI.

Meeting: Lord Falconer