Together at the table

Enjoying the Iftar event on Easter Sunday Credit: FMV Facebook

It is only about once every 30 years that Ramadan and Easter coincide and 2024 was one of those rare occurrences which saw a very sharing experience in Antwerp.

Belgian record

An organisation comprised of around 150, mainly immigrant, associations, FMV, created a new Belgian record by hosting a special open air meal on Easter Sunday, March 31 which stretched along two kilometres of road.

Following the day of fasting, Muslims refer to the time that they are allowed to eat as Iftar and it was decided that to celebrate this unusual coincidence of  celebrations that Christians, Muslims and indeed anyone else should be invited to attend.

Those joining the tables in the Turnhoutsebaan area in Borgerhout had a choice of bringing their own food and drink or purchasing some of the items available from caterers brought in by the organisers.

There was a whole selection of food including some Belgian favourites as well as examples of favourite Arabic food from Morocco, Palestine, Syria plus other suitable Halal dishes.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 attended

Between 6,000 and 8,000 people attended the dinner and speaking to the Belgian News Agency, Mayor Mariam El Orsi of Flemish green party Groen said “We are going for a zero waste event by only using reusable materials.”

She added, “This is not easy in terms of organisation, but it is necessary. We are also asking people to prevent food waste. So providing an excess of food is really not necessary.”

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page