Ambassador Michael Oren
Photo: Israeli Embassy Washington
WASHINGTON – Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren hosted an "Iftar" – the daily meal traditionally eaten every night to break the Ramadan fast, at his DC residence Thursday night. Around 60 guests took part in the event, including dozens of representatives of the US Muslim community, government officials, congress members and diplomats.
The residence's dining room was temporarily converted into a prayer room – rugs were placed on the floor facing towards Mecca.
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Presiding over the kitchens was a chef from one of the many Arab embassies in Washington who made sure the celebratory meal was made in accordance with 'Halal' – Islamic laws.
Among the guests at the event was Farah Pandith, the first woman ever to be appointed to the role of US State Department Special Representative to the Muslim Communities. In contrast, the ambassador's wife Sally Oren was conspicuous in her absence.
The ambassador explained that his wife had undergone minor surgery and that she was hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Oren welcomed his guests and said that he was proud to host the first Iftar meal in his home. He added that he hoped that the evening marked the beginnings of a shared tradition of building bridges to mutual understanding and esteem which would start in Washington but reach the Middle East.
In closing he wished the participants a "Ramadan Karim" (a generous Ramadan) on behalf of the Israeli government and the Israeli people.
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