Mayor Houston Sylvester Turner has said that the annual Iftar dinner has been changed to Virtual Iftar due to fears of the spread of the epidemic Corona. Instead of postponing this Iftar dinner, we organized it in an organized and unique way, proving that the coronavirus could not defeat our passions and ambitions.
He was speaking to the media at the Virtual Iftar Dinner 2020 organized by the Sister Cities of Houston and other associations, including the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, at the Biocity Center Houston.
Community leaders Saeed Sheikh and Murad Ajani also spoke to the media on the occasion. Speaking to the media, the mayor further said that in view of the unavoidable need for social distance due to coronavirus, the annual Iftar dinner was organized in the form of Virtual Iftar Dinner with the organized participation of Houston Karachi Sisters and other sister cities of Houston and other organizations and instead of postponing this grand event, Iftar dinner boxes were provided to the people through a drive-through. He paid rich tributes to eminent oil tycoons Javed Anwar, Saeed Sheikh and Aga Khan Council President Murad Ajani for their generous financial support and organization of the event.
“By hosting this two-decade-old grand and interfaith Iftar dinner, which has been held since the time of former mayor Lee P. Brown, we have proved that an epidemic like Corona is epidemic,” he said. The disease cannot defeat our emotions and ambitions.
He praised the Aga Khan Community President Murad Ajani and the leadership of the Pakistan Association of Greater Houston for providing hundreds of volunteers under the Organized Volunteer Service.
He said that the purpose of this Iftar dinner was to promote religious harmony and tolerance and this trend would continue in future also. Iftar facility has been provided to 2,000 people this year and arrangements will be made for 2,400 people next year.
“I don’t think there’s any other city in the United States like Houston where this passion is found and where there’s such religious harmony and that’s our strength,” he said.
Mumtaz Oil Tycoon Javed, the key sponsor of the Iftar Dinner, in his video message on the occasion, paid tribute to the organizers who made the Iftar Dinner a success and said that he was grateful to Mayor Sylvester Turner and the organizer Saeed Sheikh and all other organizations who made the Iftar Dinner Held in a unique way despite the unfavourable conditions.
Talking to the media on the occasion, Saeed Sheikh appreciated the insightful leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner and said that the personal interest and efforts of the Mayor and the officials of his office made it possible to hold the Afzar Dinner in a unique way. And we maintained the tradition of hosting the annual Iftar Dinner with the full support of prominent community leader Javed Anwar.
Hundreds of Aga Khan Community volunteers and PAGH volunteers led by Mumtaz Aga Khan Community Leader Murad Ajani played a commendable role in organizing the Iftar Dinner under the leadership of Mian Nazir.
Other committee members who successfully hosted the Iftar dinner included Chris Olson, Jessica Canigo, MJ Khan, Nasru Ropani, Haroon Sheikh, Mian Nazir, Mahmood Ahmed, Farah Iqbal, Sohail Ali, Imran Ali, Dr Rana Azam, Naheed Ahmed, Ilyas Chaudhry. Saad Ansari, Crystal Montana, Maria Usmani and Abdul Rehman Badat.