Community Iftar Dinner in Northern Ireland – How to Achieve Meaningful Dialogue

Free to Attend

Ramada Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Anna Lo

MP Alliance Party

Arlington Trotman BD MPhil AKC

Director of Diversity Training & Management Consultancy

Dr Ozcan Keles

Dr Ozcan Keles

Chairperson of the Dialogue Society

Ozcan is a non-practising Barrister and member of the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn. He is the Chairperson of the Dialogue Society since 2008; was the Executive Chairperson of the same organisation between 2008 and 2014; the Executive Editor of the peer-reviewed biannual academic Journal of Dialogue Studies since 2014 and a full-time PhD candidate in the sociology of human rights at the University of Sussex. Between 2006 and 2009 he was a research student with Prof Kevin Boyle at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, where he held the Scholarship Award of 2006. Ozcan was called to the Bar in 2005 after successfully completing the Bar course at the Inns of Court School of Law. He obtained his LLM in Human Rights Law from SOAS, University of London, in 2002.

Drew Haire

OFMDFM Community Relations Unit

Katy Radford

The Executive Council of Belfast Jewish Community

Naomi Long MLA

Chair of Belfast City Council's Good Relations Unit

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.