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Ramadan event encourages people of all faiths to connect over a meal, a walk, giving

Muslims and their non-Muslim neighbors are invited to a unique event in Amherst Thursday that will honor two important parts of Ramadan: the fast and charitable giving.

Credit WBFO file photo
Dr. Khalid Qazi, chair of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

"We started Tent of Abraham, where we invite people of all faiths, our neighbors to join us in breaking the fast,"  said Dr. Khalid Qazi from the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The 15th annual Tent of Abraham will be hosted at the Muslim Community Center (Islamic Center) at 7 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Congregation Havurah, Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier, Network of Religious Communities, North Presbyterian Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Qazi said this year MPAC has created a COVID-cautious version, which typically involves a walk, donations to local food banks and a meal. This year, the walk will be socially distant, the meals boxed and masks worn except when eating. 

Many people know that fasting until sundown is part of Ramadan, but so is making a donation to people in need. Non-perishable food and cash will be collected at the event and donated to local food banks and refugee organizations.

Qazi said MPAC had donated thousands of pounds of food, as well as "tens of thousands" of dollars over the years to food pantries and refugee organizations through the Tent of Abraham. MPAC matches cash donations to amplify the impact of the donations.

There wil also be the 12th annual "Walk of Abraham" right before the event, starting at 4:30 p.m. at North Presbyterian Church in Williamsville. MPAC said the walk is meant to "inspire us to experience the spirit of Abraham’s traditions of the values of faith, hospitality and mutual respect."

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.
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