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Inter-faith Ramadan fast-breaking iftar celebrates South Africa's diversity

Muslims share food as Palestinian flags are hung over them during Iftar, in Bo-Kaap area, Cape Town, on April 14, 2023   -  
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RODGER BOSCH/AFP or licensors

South Africa

The event hosted in the neighborhood's streets had people of all faiths praying and later dining with Bo Kaap's muslim members currently observing Ramadan.

The city's mayor said street iftars were critical in celebrating Cape Town's religious harmony and diversity.

"This is what makes Cape Town so special and beautiful and magnificent. Here we are just in the shadow of our beautiful mountain with all Capetonians from every community across the City, every religious background, Christians, Muslims, Jews coming together to celebrate this special time in the holy month of Ramadan together as Capetonians," said Geordin Hill Lewis, the mayor of Cape Town.

Street or community mass iftars have become prevalent across various communities in Cape Town, weather permitting, ensuring those fasting have a meal to break their fast with and to welcome neighbours and friends to partake in the fast-breaking dinner.

"As muslims in South Africa, a very minute minority forming just less than two percent of the population but we live in harmony side by side, with our Christian brothers and African religions. And this is why it's important for us when we have such gatherings that we cast the net wide," said Mandla Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, a member of the South African Parliament

Every Ramadhan, thousands gather for mass iftars, when roads are cordoned off and turned into enormous dinner tables.

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