Ramadan Iftar Dinner, Reading

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 19:15 in Community Engagement

Where: Island Restaurant, Pipers Island, Caversham Bridge, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 8AH


  • Mrs Catherine Bearder, MEP
  • Superintendent Steve Kirk, Thames Valley Police


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 Reading was focussed on Community Cohesion and Deradicalisation topics. The evening began with a short welcome speech by our Chairman Mr Atilla Seril followed by a presentation of Dialogue Society and the Ezan (call to prayer). When it was time to break the fast, guests were served with a traditional Turkish Iftar dinner. After the dinner, the speeches have started with Mrs Catherina Bearder about Community Cohesion and then followed by Superintendent Steve Kirk about Prevent Violent Extremism and radicalism.

Before the end of the event, a video presentation called as �Peace through Education & Dialogue� has reminded everybody a simple approach for the peace. The event has ended with the comments from the guests and the closing speech of Mr Atilla Seril.

Biography of Mrs Catherine Bearder, MEP

CCatherine Bearder is well-known to Liberal Democrats all over the south east region as a passionate campaigner and hard-working activist. Born in 1949, a farmer�s daughter, Catherine is the third of four daughters. After a career in the voluntary sector, raising three sons and promoting the Liberal Democrats throughout our region, she has the perfect experience to make Europe greener, more liberal and more democratic as our MEP. Having been appointed to represent the Liberal Democrats and ALDE on the Committee for Regional Development, and the Committee for International Trade, Catherine looks forward to championing the needs of the South East over the coming five years.

Throughout her time on the Committee for Regional Development, Catherine hopes to work to reduce the gap in the levels of development of various regions across Europe and the UK, and to tackle the extent to which the least-favoured regions are lagging behind. She also intends to use her position to support and promote the work of the voluntary sector in Regions across Europe, and to seek further simplification of the EU Regulations on Structural Funds, making it easier and quicker for the Regions of Europe to access much needed funding during these times of economic crisis.

Catherine is also a substitute member on the Committee on International Trade. Here she hopes to use her voice and her vote to ensure that free trade deals being negotiated between Europe and the developing world will not be made at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Free trade should not come at the price of destruction of jobs, livelihoods, local industries, and environmental exploitation. Catherine intends to work to ensure that developing countries be given the flexibility to use economic policies that benefit people and the environment.

Simon, her husband, is a professor at Oxford Brookes University and heads the Nocturnal Primate Research Group and they have three sons.

Biography of Superintendent Steve Kirk, Thames Valley Police

Steve Kirk joined Thames Valley Police in 1982 and has previously worked in Windsor, Maidenhead, Henley, and Slough. He has experience in various departments including CID, Training, Firearms and Community Policing. The role of Local Police Area Commander involves leading and managing police resources by developing strategies with other partners to reduce local crime and disorder and by ensuring customers� views and needs are clearly identified and responded to.

Steve lives in Reading and is married to Liz who is also a Police Officer and they have three boys.

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