On Saturday evening, 280 members of SB OverSeas’ community in Belgium attended a traditional iftar dinner, to break the Ramadan fast together and to show support and appreciation for the projects that we do in Brussels and Lebanon.
A total of 5,125 euros was raised from the event, both the sale of tickets, and the raffle of items made by refugee women and youth in our empowerment programmes in Lebanon go right back to those projects. As well it will help support a new extension of the SB Espoir programme in Belgium that works with asylum-seeking women and girls at the Red Cross Centre in Jette.
Each table was given an adjective like “ambitious, courageous and bold” to that describe the strength of the women and girls in our programmes. Also on each table, guests found the story of one of the refugee women or youth from Lebanon, along with hand-made dolls which were available for purchase.
While we arrived to the venue with 46 dolls, we left with only four!
The night’s programme included a performance by Yasmine Said, a 6 year old musician who plays the Kanoun, an instrument traditional in the Middle East. She is a student of the distinguished Kanoun instructor, Suhad Najm. After the breaking of the fast with a meal prepared by the “King of Shawarma” restaurant which is owned and operated by a family of Syrian refugees, we presented our projects in Belgium and Lebanon with two videos produced by our volunteers. Then, we did a quiz on the rights of women followed by the raffle of items from our centres. Finally we ended the night with a performance of whirling dervish, by Ahmad Alkhati, a traditional Sufi dance.
For many of the guests, breaking the fast with a large iftar gathering is not uncommon, including for our community of supporters with a Syrian refugee background, from the Moroccan-Belgian community and a group of asylum seeking women and families who have just arrived in Brussels. But for some, this was their first traditional iftar dinner: including our SB Espoir volunteers, student supporters from the Brussels School of International Studies, the Univerisité Libre de Bruxelles, partners at pwc and supporters from the EU Commission.
A few messages from some of our guests that enjoyed the night:
“Un tout grand merci pour l’invitation hier… j’ai été bluffée par le cadre, la nourriture. Un grand bravo aux organisateurs. Ma première sortie pour l’iftar… bonheur de découvrir et partager… Cette plateforme ouvre mes horizons et me fait rencontrer de belles personnes et pas que chez nos invités donc..Bises”
تحيه لفريق المنظمة على الجهد المبذول والرقي في التعامل
انبسطنا كتير وكله كان مرتب وبياخد العقل
نتمنى لكم التوفيق الدائم في مسعاكم لنشر السلام والعلم و المعرفه بين جميع المجتمعات
“At SB Overseas 7th Annual Iftar Gala! SB OverSeas are angels with all the work they are doing for refugees. Bravo and keep strong. We are forever at your side! Well done to you and your team for all the hard work and selfless dedication. Last night was truly a wonderful evening.”