The Bohra community in Los Angeles hosted community leaders, neighbours and distinguished guests for a Ramadan iftār (breaking of the fast) reception and dinner program on the 8th of May 2019.
Guests began to arrive at 6:00 pm to the Mohammedi Center complex and a brief program was then conducted, beginning with the recitation of the Holy Quran, the Pledge of Allegiance, and remarks by the ʿAmil Saheb (representative of His Holiness) Mukarram Bhaisaheb Hakimuddin.
He began with the virtues of prayer and fasting, noting the recent National Day of Prayer and quoting Presidents Harry Truman and Thomas Jefferson. He also noted that prayer unites us in common humanity, fraternity, camaraderie, and solidarity against those who harbour hatred against faith itself. He reaffirmed the Dawoodi Bohra community to working with its neighbours for the common cause of making Los Angeles a better place to live.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield also offered some inspiring remarks, declaring that mere tolerance of differences was no longer sufficient, that instead it is time to go beyond tolerance to true unity and familiarity. Councilmember Blumenfield concluded with a moment of silence, during which 53 white doves were released to honor victims of violence at houses of worship.
The guests were then invited to attend an exhibition devoted to the theme, ‘A Legacy of Knowledge.’ Different exhibits on this theme were presented, focused on the legacy of His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, women empowerment within the community, entrepreneurship, and the annual observance of ʿAshara Mubāraka, commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husain AS.
As sunset drew near, guests were escorted on a tour of the campus. They were then invited to observe members of the congregation offering their evening prayer. Afterwards, the group assembled in the VIP hall for a formal dinner. As the evening closed, guests were presented with gifts in the tradition of Ramadan, to express the community’s appreciation and gratitude.
Guests included Mrs Swarna Gunaratne, Consul General of Sri Lanka, Los Angeles City Council, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Mr Fadi Ahmad and Mr Aqeel Eessa consulars from the Consulate of Iraq, Mr Shoaib Sarwar consular from the Consulate of Pakistan, Mrs Elham Umer representing the Consulate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr John Alford, representing the office of Congressman Brad Sherman, Mr Jake Itzkowitz, representing the office of Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson, US Customs and Border Protection, Supervisor Bill Hicks, Father Bill Crowe and Deacon Dale Taufer from St. Bernardine Catholic Church, Hazzan Mike Stein from Temple Aliyah, Reverend Ben Banner from Woodland Hills Presbyterian Church, and West Hills Neighborhood Council President, Mr Daniel Brin.