June 9, 2016, Washington D.C. — Turkic American Alliance (TAA) and Rumi Forum collaborated to host their annual signature Ramadan dinner in Washington D.C., with over 100 guests in attendance.
The program began at 8.00pm, with Lamija Silajdzic, Program Director of TAA welcomed the distinguished guests and acknowledged the staff of both organizations in putting together the event. Ms. Silajdzic later introduced Mustafa Akpinar, the upcoming CEO of Rumi Forum, who gave the opening remarks.
Arsalan Suleman, Acting U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at the State Department explained Ramadan as a “month of reflection” for ourselves and those that served community. He gave the example of Mohammed Ali, who inspired millions, confronted racism and injustice and fought for religious equality and freedom.
Rev. Nate Walker, Executive Director at Religious Freedom Center of The Newseum, gave brief remarks sharing the importance promoting diversity and uniformity and maintaining religious liberty. He called for society to “move beyond personal gain” and work towards universal understanding and peaceful coexistence.
The Keynote, Imam Abdullah Antepli, Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs and Adjunct Faculty at Duke University shed light on the value of the Holy Month of Ramadan, as a time for “building good habits” that are easily ignored during the course of the year.
Later, the “call to prayer”, symbolizing the breaking of the fast was recited and the guests enjoyed their dinner. During the meal, the speakers were invited to the stage for a group photo.