On July 14th, 2015, Pacifica Orange County hosted a Ramadan Iftar dinner for local law enforcement officers from FBI Los Angeles and Orange County, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Irvine and Huntington Beach Police Departments, and local attorneys at law.
The night started with a reception when the evening’s participants came together to chat and get to know one another. Then everyone took their seats in the dining room, where the video about Ramadan – the month of sharing – was presented.
After the video further explained the significance of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, and the following call to prayer, the guests were invited to begin eating.
Towards the end of the evening the speaker opened the microphone to anyone willing to share their thoughts.
David Thorp, Supervisor special agent for OC resident agency, noted the necessity to re-open the lines of communication, over and over again, sometimes with new friends and sometimes with old friends.
Voviette Morgan with the FBI LA expressed the honor and privilege it was to be invited to break the fast at Pacifica Institute, which she considers extended family, spending a lot of time together in outreach efforts. She reflected on her previous trip to Turkey, and hopes to return in the future, particularly loving Istanbul, Konya, Izmir and Cappadocia. She expressed the importance in honoring community involvement and community interaction. Ramadan is one of her favorite times of year. She also hopes to see the Anatolian Festival return soon, inshallah!
OC Sheriff Captain Tom Behren’s first time coming to an iftar, he did not know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised and excited to break bread and have good conversation. He said:” The Sheriffs Department is active in developing relationships throughout Orange County and is happy to be in partnership to better understand each other and build better friendships.”
Captain Russ Reinhardt from the Huntington Beach Police department noted the experience was truly humbling. He appreciates events that bring us closer together, allowing us to learn from one another.
Lieutenant Michael Kent from the Irvine Police department stated that he looked forward to working together as a community, noting that Ramadan is a very special time. Having come from a Middle Eastern background, this experience brought back a lot of memories from his childhood. He noted the great diversity in Irvine, and the fact that there are events such as iftar dinners to bring everyone closer together is a wonderful thing, which he hopes to continue many years in the future.
After the guests shared their remarks, Orange County Branch Director Ilker Yildiz thanked to the dinner participants and presented gifts of traditional Turkish calligraphy to the guests as a sign of gratitude.
Pacifica Orange County would like to thank to attendances and their great services for the community.