Central Florida Muslims break bread, build bridges with neighbors

SHAFAQNA – Muslims in Central Florida invited 100 civic and religious leaders for a special dinner Thursday in Longwood as part of an effort to draw closer to neighbors during Ramadan, a holy month of prayer, fasting and introspection.”The idea is to build bridges between us — breaking bread together is a good way to do it,” said Atiff Fareed, chairman of the American Muslim Community Center, which hosted the event. “If we talk to one another, we’ll understand each other better.”

Ramadan, which began June 17 and ends July 17, is the holiest period in the Islamic calendar, a time when followers of the faith are expected to avoid eating, drinking and sexual activity from sunrise to sunset; purge themselves of unkind and impure thoughts; and practice self-restraint and self-reflection.

Fareed said the guests, including local Christian and Jewish leaders, were treated to a feast of Middle Eastern cuisine.

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