The Royal Grammar School Iftar was a successful opportunity to bring people from different walks of life and communities together and enjoy an Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan.
The opportunity was initiated from the will of RSFI to support and sponsor an initiative at a grammar school in High Wycombe, where this highly regarded school established a precedence in the area – holding an Iftar for its students and families to help encourage equality and understanding within the school community as well as between the school and its surrounding county. The Royal Grammar School is the only school within Buckinghamshire County Council organising such an Iftar for parents and staff on premises.
Non-Muslim teachers and students also took the chance to fast on the day which helped them to grow a better understanding of Ramadan and empathise with their Muslim peers or students who would fast for that whole month.
In response to an open invitation that was sent out from the school to the teachers, students, management, governors, student’s parents and their families. The result was a lovely mix with the head teacher, deputy head teacher and school governors present.
The local MP Steve Baker was also invited by Councillor Arif Hussein to the Iftar and kindly attended the event. Councillor Arif helped RSFI organise this event, ensuring the event was inclusive and well attended.
Some non-Muslim teachers and pupils decided to join their Muslim peers and fast on the day to take full advantage of the experience and see what and how their Muslim peers feel during a normal fasting school day.
People started arriving at 8:20pm. They mingled and spoke to others about their different experiences; then all attendees were given some background about the month of Ramadan and the fasting in a set of short speeches by:
- Hissan – year 8 pupil
- M.Rizwaan – year 11 pupil and head of the RGSIslamic Society
- RSFI representative (Jamila Begum)
- RGS Deputy head (Alex R Wallace)
- Sheikh Tanveer (High Wycombe mosque Imam)
- Thank you note by the RGS Headmaster (PhilipWayne)
The attendees broke their fast lightly at the Azaahn then performed Salah in the school sports hall. The prayer was led by the local High Wycombe mosque Imam, Sheikh Tanveer. Many non-Muslims also joined and others watched respectfully as the Salah was being performed. The Headmaster later praised the spirituality, beauty and community feel which he experienced during the Salah time.
Everyone enjoyed an authentic Iftar experience with dates, water and food, in an environment where everyone was happily conversing with each other, appreciating every grain they were eating after such a long day.
The room was set up with roller banners promoting the C-THRU project, against which people took pictures. There were also leaflets about RSFI projects, namely C-THRU and the National Quran Competition, which people took away with them.
Brand Awareness – People contacted the RSFI team and got a chance to formally introduce the charity to the High Wycombe community.
PR – The Buckinghamshire MP and the Councillor’s attendance at the event enriched the experience
on top of the large number of professionals and educated people expressing interest in volunteering, helping or following the charity’s future activities.
Networking with key figures – The popular Imam at the High Wycombe mosque together with the manager of the mosque attended the event and lead the prayers. He later also turned out to be a big fan of the RSFI’s Chairman – Dr Amr Khaled, and uses his books in his sermons.
Everyone really enjoyed themselves and there were great comments about the quality of the food served, the organisation and neatness of the event.
Many also highlighted the need for an inclusive Iftar like this example in many other places.
Parents and school praised RSFI for its sponsorship of the event and encouraged the continuation of support of this initiative annually.
The event was successful in:
- Promoting RFSI, C-THRU and the National Quran Competition
- Establishing new collaborations and partnerships
- Networking with key figures who are influential in their local communities (Muslim density)
- Growing awareness on topics like Ramadan, fasting, Muslim routines for Muslims and non Muslims
- Recruiting volunteers and securing followers of our projects