This year we teamed up with a young Iraqi man to put on an Eid celebration for the local Muslim community. Eid al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that celebrates the end of the Ramadan, a holy month of fasting among the Muslims. We had just met Sadeer through his mother, and he was wanting to spend some time volunteering with us to help him upskill – it was a wonderful opportunity to boost our connection with the local Muslim communities, and we asked if he would like to help us host an Eid celebration for his friends and family. It was a lovely day, with a variety of visitors from the Iraqi/Afghanistani communities, mixed with locals, and delicious Middle Eastern dishes ranging from Baklava (sweet pastries) to Sambosas (samosas) to Mejadra (Middle Eastern rice). Most of the Muslim visitors were refugees on board the Tampa, and they shared the stories of their journey to New Zealand, as well as sharing cooking tips and traditional folk songs.
It was a very valuable and insightful experience to be able to listen to firsthand stories of the places and people we hear about all the time in the news, and we hope to create more opportunities like this in Upper Hutt