Posted on May 31, 2019
"Can I rinse my mouth with coffee?" – Ardis, Haute Hijab Office Manager
Safe to say this is now my favorite proverb. ;)
At HH, we always want to lead by example – to practice what we preach. We've been supporting Amanda Saab's #DinnerWithYourMuslimNeighbor all month long (check out Blog Editor Dilshad's "Neighborly Iftar" here), and encouraging you all to host your own interfaith iftars as well as be more inclusive of any converts or Muslims with no family around during this holy month.
So naturally, we had to host our own interfaith iftar, and who better to break fast with than our very own HH team and even some friends!
Interfaith iftars (or dinners in general) are such an amazing way for people of different faiths and backgrounds to get together and share their commonalities and get to know one another on a more personal level. And honestly, given the toxic political climate in this country right now, fostering meaningful communication is one of the best way to overcome any biases!
If you watch our weekly vlog or instastories, you may know that our team has grown significantly in the last few months, masha'Allah. The HH team is a mixed group - comprised of Muslims, non-Muslims, those of us who wear hijab, others who don't - which is reflective of the world. We are trying to cultivate a microcosm of what we want to see in the world in our own values, which is where this iftar also came from.
And so, we held our team iftar with the specific purpose of creating an intentional and meaningful discussion about Islam. It was an open-floor opportunity for anyone to ask anything about Islam and Muslims; we even provided a link for anyone who wished to ask a question anonymously. The whole team (minus two of us who couldn't make it) plus some of our friends assembled for this epic office iftar!
Even though Dilshad telecommutes all the way from Virginia, she still found a way to participate! The day before our team iftar, she gave everyone pointers on how and when to fast, how important intentions are, what foods would make great fuel during suhoor time and how to combat thirst and fatigue during the day. The day of, she checked in on those who tried fasting! Alice (our marketing manager), Ardis and Brittney (our former customer experience rep - she came back just for this!!) ended up fasting for the entire day!! Let me tell you ... they were champs! Alice says of her experience,
Fasting was HARD! But it wasn’t in the ways that I would have predicted. I was only hungry a few times during the day and my thirst, while more prevalent than hunger, was not unbearable. What really challenged me was how tired, unmotivated and gloomy I was. I didn’t expect my mood to be so affected! I felt incapable of accomplishing any big project, just truly exhausted both mentally and emotionally. I have to say though, those first few bites of dinner were pure bliss. Sharing a meal with other people who had been fasting and learning more about Ramadan, both intellectually and physically, was a true joy, and I’m really glad to have had the opportunity.
Being the foodies we are, we made it a potluck and enjoyed some good food and had a nice conversation together.
Here are four reflections from our iftar:
1. Don't shy away from tough conversations. In the right setting, they're not so tough.
2. Islam is a communal religion. There's a reason for this. Our families and our neighbors have rights upon us, and it is our duty to show up for each other.
3. One of the sweetest things in life - good company and good food ;)
4. Our differences make us beautiful.
Check out this week's vlog below for an inside look into our team iftar. :)
Have you hosted your own neighborly or interfaith iftar this year? We'd love to hear about it! Share with us in the comments below!