May 29, 2018
As the sun set over the East River at Gracie Mansion, Mohammad Hasan, Instructor for the Oaktree Institute, made the call to prayer. Attendees of the Mayor and First Lady's Ramadan Iftar made their way to the prayer rugs, provided by the Council of Peoples Organization (COPO), laid out on the lawn overlooking the river. Imam Chernor Saad Jalloh of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York began to lead the prayer for the guests.
After prayer, attendees moved into the tent to enjoy the music of Zafer Tawil, who peformed on the qanun as guests enjoyed their first food of the day, provided by Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine and Vintage Food Corp.
Sarah Sayeed, Senior Advisor to the Community Affairs Unit, opened the speaking program, followed by First Lady Chirlane McCray, who provided opening remarks. The First Lady was followed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who noted the important history that Muslims have in the U.S. and highlighted that, "We are not meant to be a nation that excludes or discriminates against, or puts down or disrespects the Muslim people. That is not America." (See the Mayor's full remarks below.)
Video description: Watch the livestream of the remarks by Mayor de Blasio at the 2018 Iftar in celebration of Ramadan:
Ramadan Kareem! Join us at the annual Ramadan Iftar Dinner at Gracie Mansion. https://t.co/XKSd6Kb0Yf— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 30, 2018
We were honored to be joined by our Muslim neighbors at the annual Ramadan Iftar dinner at Gracie Mansion last night. Ramadan Mubarak! pic.twitter.com/MWs78Upl0E— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 30, 2018
We would like to acknowledge and thank our committed sponsors of the 2018 Iftar in celebration of Ramadan, without whom this event would not be possible: