When we were kids, we’d dread the first day of school because we wouldn’t know anyone. We’d complain to our parents and they’d respond with a “don’t worry, you’ll make new friends”. Lo’ and behold 5 minutes into class Timmy and I became the “terrible twosome” as we flicked our boogers at the girls since they had “cooties”. At that age making new friends was a lot easier since we had hundreds of classmates to choose from. As an adult, making new friends isn’t as easy since your network is much smaller with fewer opportunities to meet people. Well, that’s where Experience Ramadan comes in. Take part in an Iftar, make new friends.
This past week my wife and I had the pleasure of hosting an Iftar through a new platform called Experience Ramadan- A project focused on connecting people to share in on an Iftar meal. You can choose to either host or be hosted. Additionally, you don’t have to be Muslim to attend. Once you’ve decided on your preference, the website will match you up with people and you can take it from there.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I was first told about the idea I was both intrigued and skeptical. It would be a great opportunity to open up our home and break bread with new people, but I also wondered what would happen if they were really boring. Or creepy. Or both boring and creepy. Thanks to my wife’s direction I was able to gain a hold of myself and we then proceeded to sign up as hosts. A couple days later we got an email from the platform notifying us that we had been matched. After a few exchanges over email with our Iftar guests, I could confirm that Samantha and Mike were not Nigerian royalty, and they were not looking to give away their family’s fortune in exchange for $800 over Western Union. Phew! What a relief!
During the week we decided on a menu and anxiously awaited Friday 8pm. As the minutes and seconds drew closer our nervousness increased. I had a backup plan in case they didn’t show. With loads of food, and no one to eat it, I was ready to broadcast and open invite over WhatsApp. Thankfully we didn’t have to do that as our guests arrived promptly at 8pm, flowers in hand! There on we had a terrific evening as we bonded over our love for travel, sports, and British accents (and yes, it goes without saying that religion and politics were discussed). We also gave our new friends a quick rundown of Ramadan as we enjoyed a great Iftar meal. The entire experience went so well that that we plan on hanging out again once Ramadan is over.
Creating dialogue amongst people of different faiths and backgrounds doesn’t get any easier than this. You’re already having an Iftar, so why not bring a few new people along to share in on the meal. It’s a great way to make new friends and spread joy this Ramadan. If you’re interested or would like to sign up, please check out http://ramadan.fyi
You can also read my wife’s take on the experience here: https://tasneemdasoo.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/eat-experience-ramadan-with-iftar-host/