Chelsea Hosts First Ever Open Iftar
On Sunday, history was made at Stamford Bridge, the home stadium of Chelsea Football Club. For the first time ever, the club hosted an Open Iftar event, bringing together hundreds of people from different backgrounds and faiths to break their fast during Ramadan.
The event was organized in collaboration between the Chelsea Foundation, the charitable arm of the club, and the Ramadan Tent Project, an award-winning charity founded in 2013.
The Open Iftar allowed Muslims observing Ramadan to break their fast together, but it was also a space for dialogue and engagement between communities.
What to Know About the Event
The Ramadan Tent Project has a mission of bringing communities together and developing an understanding of Ramadan. This year, the charity is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Ramadan is part of Chelsea FC and Chelsea Foundation's No To Hate campaign, which is a club-wide equality, diversity, and inclusion program targeting hate and discrimination.
The campaign aims to educate all stakeholders, inside and outside of the club, about the importance of promoting tolerance, with other religious festivals highlighted throughout the calendar year.
What Happened at the Event
The event started with a few brief speeches, setting the tone for the evening, which was about community and togetherness. The speeches were followed by prayers led by Imam Safwaan Hussein from Battersea Mosque, a moment of reflection and spirituality.
Among the attendees were Paul Canoville, the first Black player to play for Chelsea, Lord Daniel Finkelstein, board director of the Chelsea Foundation, and Tufail Hussain, UK director of Islamic Relief.
In their speech, Finkelstein highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusivity, stating that "This is about saying yes to love, inclusion, community, and yes to everyone who wants to be a Chelsea fan."
Omar Salha, the founder of the Ramadan Tent Project, spoke to Anadolu about the event, saying that they are aiming to bring people together and make them understand more about the holy month. He added that football unites people, but Ramadan unites people too, and Open Iftar turns strangers into friends.
Other Related Events
The event was not just a first for Chelsea, but a first for any Premier League stadium. It was an important moment in the club's history and a testament to its commitment to inclusivity and community engagement.
But this was not the only Open Iftar event organized by the Ramadan Tent Project this year. On Friday, they hosted another fast-breaking meal. The event was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and more than 400 people attended.
The organizers of the events were grateful for the support and attendance of all those who came to the dinners. They thanked their speakers, sponsors, and hardworking volunteers, who made the events possible.
Chelsea's Open Iftar event has received widespread praise, with many commending the club for its efforts to promote inclusivity and diversity.
The event has set a positive example for other Premier League clubs to follow, demonstrating that football can bring people together regardless of their background or beliefs.
Overall, Chelsea's Open Iftar event was a great success, and it is hoped that similar events will be held in the future to promote understanding and tolerance between different communities.