13 June 2017

The Abrahamic Reunion: the story of an inter-religious, (im)possible friendship

The annual inter-religious IFTAR organized by the NGO based in the Holy Land, took place in Ilut, near Nazareth. Muslims, Jews, Christians and Druze, together for the traditional Ramadan meal.

Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions

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"O Lord, for You I fasted and now I break this fast with food which You provided for me”.
It is the invocation that Muslims recite before breaking the abstinence, every night of Ramadan, during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which recalls the revelation of the Koran. In Ilut, a village just a few miles from Nazareth, these words had an exceptional background and took on a special meaning.

ABESSALA MANASREH
Sheikh of the Al-Qadiriyah Method in Palestine and the Middle East
"This is the 14th edition of our Iftar that gathers Christians, Muslims, Jews and Druze around a single table: we live as brothers at least during this month, so they get used to being brothers forever."

During Ramadan, every night, after sunset: iftar (literally breakfast) marks the end of fasting for Muslim believers.
One evening a year since 2004, sheikhs, rabbis, settlers, Bedouins, Imams, Druze and Christians travel from different cities of the West Bank and Israel to consume this meal together, supported by the Abrahamic Reunion NGO.

RODEF SHALOM ELIYAHU MCLEAN
Director - Abrahamic Reunion – Holy Land
"Basically, we are a family of Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders and builders of peace. We all gathered here to create a sense of familiarity in the Holy Land. The whole world looks at the conflict and only sees Jews and Muslims fighting for Jerusalem. We want to show the world the opposite.”

A handshake. A hug. A moment of reflection on the value of fasting in the three main monotheistic religions. And a shared meal ...

HUSSEIN ABU RUKON
Druze – Isifia Village, Carmel
"Our gatherings, especially today's, in this blessed festival, are pleasing to God, for Ramadan is the month of joy, the month of prayer, of gatherings, of visits, and of charity."

Rev. NA’EL ABU RAHMOUN
Pastor - Anglican Church of Nazareth
"This experience of sharing increases and strengthens love and good relationships between us: we must work together so that our destiny and our future are one.”

RODEF SHALOM ELIYAHU MCLEAN
Director - Abrahamic Reunion – Holy Land
"Love your neighbor as if he were your brother”: this is written in the Bible and in the Torah. And what does this mean? To love your neighbor only if he is a Jew? I do not believe it! "

The Abrahamic Reunion organizes several activities throughout the year. Although it has offices in the United States and Europe, it focuses on Jerusalem, Galilee, Negev Desert, and the Palestinian Territories.

RODEF SHALOM ELIYAHU MCLEAN
Director - Abrahamic Reunion – Holy Land
"We are not here to propose a solution because this is the solution: that the children of Abraham may gather together. And how do we show the world that we can live together in harmony, with hope, trust and friendship? We are already living it!”