Ramadan Iftar Dinner for Women at Pacifica Institute OC (August 9, 2012)
On August 9th ,Pacifica Institute’s Irvine branch hosted a Ramadan Iftar dinner for women. Women of all backgrounds, beliefs and races met, including members of the organizations Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope (S.A.R.A.H.), Olive Tree Initiative, UCI Center for Citizn Peacebuilding, United Nations Association of the United States of America and First Drops in order to discuss “The Role of Women in Peace Making.”
The event opened with an introduction from The Women’s League presenting the purpose and many previous activities related to peacemaking.
Rev. Dr. Peggy Price spoke on behalf of S.A.R.A.H., discussing the background of the organization and its accomplishments.
Dr. Paula Garb, who was in attendance, discussed trips organized at the University of California – Irvine to improve the relations between Palestinian and Israeli, Turk and Ermenian students.
“We spent months reviewing the relations with the students by meeting weekly and in the spring we traveled to the respective countries and gave the students the chance to interact with both peoples,” Garb said.
The attendees’ commitment to dialogue was discussed and a table was set up where they could extend their compassion to victims of recent hate-group attacks by writing personalized messages.
Following the presentations, the attendees had round table discussions where they shared their own methods of peacemaking.
“This will be a safe and judgment-free arena for everyone to talk about the steps they take to achieve peace in their lives,” said Rev. Dr. Price.
As groups of eight shared examples from their own lives, an overarching theme of how each woman can become a model of peace in her own community was developed. Although many of these women had never met before, the common purpose bringing them together created an amiable environment.
The event was further enriched by delectable dishes from the Turkish kitchen once it was time for breaking fast. The attendees continued their conversations over tea and baklava.
The evening reached its conclusion as the women met outside the cultural center with lit candles and shared their thoughts and hopes for their newly found sisterhood.